Israel-Gaza war live: heavy fighting in Gaza reported overnight; UN general assembly to vote on ceasefire | Israel-Gaza war #IsraelGaza #war #live #heavy #fighting #Gaza #reported #overnight #general #assembly #vote #ceasefire #IsraelGaza #war

Israel has continued its bombing of Gaza as fierce fighting raged on Tuesday, with Hamas saying clashes had taken place in central Gaza and witnesses reporting deadly Israeli strikes in the south of the territory.

Agence France-Press reports that strikes on Monday targeted Gaza’s main southern city of Khan Yunis, now the centre of the fighting, as well as Rafah, a city on the border with Egypt where tens of thousands of people are seeking shelter.

Some of the heaviest close-quarters fighting in more than two months of conflict took place over the weekend, as the Israel Defense Forces tried to consolidate control of urban centres in northern Gaza and pursued Hamas leaders in the heart of the biggest city in the south, Khan Younis.

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said late on Monday that “Hamas is on the verge of dissolution – the IDF is taking over its last strongholds”.

Key events

Israel said it will open two additional checkpoints to examining relief supplies before dispatching them to the Palestinian territory through the Rafah gateway.

International aid organisations have struggled to get supplies to desperate Gazans under Israeli bombardment, with only the Rafah crossing in Egypt open.

No new direct crossings will be opened, Israel stressed on Monday, but the Nitzana and Kerem Shalom crossings will be used to carry out checks before sending the trucks through Rafah, Agence France-Presse reports.

“This is being done to improve the volume of security screenings of aid entering Gaza via the Rafah Crossing and will enable us to double the amount of humanitarian aid entering Gaza,” the army said on X (formerly Twitter).

The additional checkpoints will screen “trucks containing water, food, medical supplies and shelter equipment”, according to a joint statement from the Israeli army and COGAT, the defence ministry body responsible for Palestinian civilian affairs.

It emphasised that “no supplies will be entering the Gaza Strip from Israel”, only via Egypt.

Israel has continued its bombing of Gaza as fierce fighting raged on Tuesday, with Hamas saying clashes had taken place in central Gaza and witnesses reporting deadly Israeli strikes in the south of the territory.

Agence France-Press reports that strikes on Monday targeted Gaza’s main southern city of Khan Yunis, now the centre of the fighting, as well as Rafah, a city on the border with Egypt where tens of thousands of people are seeking shelter.

Some of the heaviest close-quarters fighting in more than two months of conflict took place over the weekend, as the Israel Defense Forces tried to consolidate control of urban centres in northern Gaza and pursued Hamas leaders in the heart of the biggest city in the south, Khan Younis.

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said late on Monday that “Hamas is on the verge of dissolution – the IDF is taking over its last strongholds”.

Welcome and Opening summary

Hello and welcome to our blog covering the Israel-Gaza war. It’s 5:47am in Gaza and Tel Aviv, my name is Reged Ahmad. I’ll be with you for the next while.

Fighting has continued on the ground in the Gaza Strip, accompanied by repeated aerial bombardments from Israel. Rockets have also been fired into Israel from Gaza, and from anti-Israeli forces in Lebanon.

More on that in a moment but first, here is a summary of the latest so far:

  • The UN general assembly is due to vote Tuesday on a non-binding resolution demanding “an immediate humanitarian ceasefire” in Gaza – a call that the paralysed Security Council has so far failed to make.

  • Israel’s defense minister Yoav Gallan on Monday said the next phase of the war in Gaza would be lower-intensity fighting against “pockets of resistance” and would require Israeli troops to maintain their freedom of operation, according to the Associated Press. “That’s a sign the next phase has begun,” he said. He’s pushed back against international calls to wrap up the country’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip, saying the current phase of the operation against the Hamas militant group will “take time.” In a briefing with the Associated Press, Gallant refused to commit to any firm deadlines, but he signaled that the current phase, characterised by heavy ground fighting backed up by air power, could stretch on for weeks and that further military activity could continue for months.

  • The White House said it is “concerned” over reports that Israel’s military is using white phosphorus bombs against target in Lebanon. At a morning briefing, John Kirby, strategic communications coordinator for the national security council, said use of the highly incendiary substance could legally be used for a smokescreen to conceal military operations, but that the US would seek clarification from Israel about how stocks were being used.

  • Israel’s defense minister Yoav Gallant gave a fleeting and noncommittal answer when asked at his Monday briefing about reports the country was using white phosphorus in military attacks. The Israeli Defense Forces operate “according to international law”, he said.

  • Gallant also said Israel had “no intention” of staying permanently in Gaza after the completion of its military campaign to eliminate Hamas. The country was open to discuss alternatives about who will control the territory as long as it is not a group hostile to Israel, he said, and would consider an agreement with Hezbollah in Lebanon if security guarantees were received.

  • Israel will open the Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza on Tuesday in an attempt to speed the security screening of humanitarian aid. A spokesperson for Cogat, the Israeli government department responsible for coordinating activities in the territories, said all aid will still enter via the Rafah crossing in Egypt, but the move to increase screening capacity will double the amount getting in.

  • European leaders Leo Varadkar of Ireland, Pedro Sanchez of Spain, Robert Abela of Malta and Alexander De Croo of Belgium, wrote to EU president Charles Michel calling for a discussion about a Gaza ceasefire at the union summit on 14 and 15 December. US network CNN said the letter expressed “alarm” over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza and questions Israel’s military campaign and its effect on the civilian population.

  • The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry updated casualties since the start of the Israel-Hamas war on 7 October, stating that 18,205 Palestinians have been killed, and 49,645 injured. The reported death toll has risen by more than 500 in the two days from Saturday, when it stood at 17,700, the ministry said.

  • Qatar has spoken with Israel to gauge interest in talks about a possible new pause in the fighting in Gaza, according to a journalist for Axios. The report directly contradicts the position of diplomats at the annual Doha Forum conference in Qatar, who have said they are not expecting any reopening of Gaza ceasefire talks for some weeks.

  • At least 52 people were arrested in Washington DC on Monday at a protest calling for the US to push for a permanent ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. Activists representing the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, Jewish Voice for Peace and other groups briefly protested in a Senate office building before police ended the demonstration and took dozens into custody.

  • Italy, France and Germany called on the European Union to impose ad hoc sanctions against Hamas and its supporters. “We express our full support for the … proposal to create an ad hoc sanctions regime against Hamas and its supporters,” they said in a letter to the EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell.

  • France is also considering imposing national sanctions on those involved in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, the French foreign minister, Catherine Colonna, has said.

  • Harvard University’s governing board faced mounting pressure on Monday to publicly declare support for, or oust the university president, according to a report by Reuters. It follows remarks she made last week at a congressional hearing on antisemitism.

  • UN security council ambassadors arrived in Egypt to visit the Rafah border crossing. An Egyptian foreign ministry official told the envoys during a briefing: “There is no justification to turning a blind eye to the pain and suffering inflicted on the Palestinian people in Gaza.”

  • Israel told the UN that it “must do better” at delivering aid to people in Gaza. The country said it was willing to double the number of inspections, but that “aid keeps waiting at the entrance of Rafah”. Since 7 October Israel has essentially blockaded Gaza, including at times cutting off telecommunications. The Rafah crossing with Egypt is the only entrance or exit to Gaza that has been open with any regularity, and Israel insists on inspecting all cargo being sent into the territory

  • Israel’s military said 104 members of its forces have been killed in Gaza since the ground operation began. In addition the IDF said 582 soldiers were injured inside the Gaza Strip. It gives its total casualties since 7 October as 433 soldiers killed, and 1,645 wounded.


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