Palestinian anger over the toll has been inflamed further by a sense of betrayal as many of those who heeded Israel’s call to move south are also being killed.The Israeli military says that Hamas, which seized control in Gaza in 2007, has entrenched itself among the civilian population everywhere. Israel said its latest strikes had eliminated moreHamas operatives including the head of the Islamist group’s battalion for Khan Younis, Tayseer Bebasher. It said Hamas tunnel shafts, command centres, weapons caches and rocket launch positions were targeted, plus a cell of Hamas divers trying to infiltrate Israel by sea near Kibbutz Zikim.
The UN warned on Wednesday that without more fuel it will soon sharply curtail relief operations. The UNRWA, the UN agency that aids Palestinians, desperately needs fuel to run nearly 150 shelters where 600,000 displaced Palestinians have sought safety, as well as health care clinics, said Juliette Touma, its spokeswoman. “The next 24 hours are going to be critical,” Touma said. “After that, we are going to have to start choosing where to send the aid, and how often.” The WHO said that 12 of Gaza’s 35 hospitals were not functioning and that seven major hospitals were well over capacity, risking patient safety. The US and Russia are leading rival calls at the UN for a pause in fighting. In proposals the UNSC was expected to consider on Wednesday, the US is seeking short pauses to allow aid in while Russia advocates a wider ceasefire. Israel has resisted both, arguing that Hamas would only take advantage.