HomeWorld NewsAmerica vetoes UN ceasefire resolution as Israel continues to attack Gaza.

Gaza:

Israel invaded the besieged Palestinian territory of Gaza on Saturday after the United States blocked an extraordinary UN effort to call for a ceasefire in the two-month conflict.

Hamas and the Palestinian Authority immediately condemned the US veto as the Palestinian Health Ministry put the latest death toll in Gaza at 17,487, mostly women and children.

An Israeli attack on the southern town of Khan Yunis killed six people, the ministry said on Saturday, while a separate attack in Rafah killed five others.

Vast areas of Gaza have been reduced to rubble and the United Nations says about 80 percent of the population has been displaced, with severe shortages of food, fuel, water and medicine reported.

“It’s very cold, and the tent is very small. I only have the clothes I wear, I still don’t know what the next step will be,” said Mahmoud Abu Rayan, displaced from Beit Lahiya in the north.

A UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire was vetoed by the United States on Friday.

US envoy Robert Wood said the proposal was “detached from reality” and would “not move the needle on the ground”.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said the ceasefire “will prevent the collapse of the Hamas terrorist organization, which is committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, and will enable it to continue ruling the Gaza Strip”.

Hamas on Saturday condemned the US rejection of a ceasefire bid, calling it “the occupation’s direct participation in the murder of our people and more genocide and ethnic cleansing”.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said it was “an insult and another blank check given to the occupying state to massacre, destroy and displace”.

Injured Palestinian children sit on the floor at Nasser Hospital after Israeli attacks.  Photo: Reuters

Injured Palestinian children sit on the floor at Nasser Hospital after Israeli attacks. Photo: Reuters

The veto was sharply condemned by humanitarian groups, with Doctors Without Borders (MSF) saying the Security Council was “complicit in ongoing genocide”.

Israel’s military said on Friday it had struck 450 targets in Gaza in 24 hours, showing footage of attacks on naval vessels in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Palestinian Health Ministry reported that 40 Palestinians were killed near Gaza City in the north, and dozens more in Jabaliya and the main southern city of Khan Younis.

“The people of Gaza are staring into an abyss,” UN chief Antonio Guterres said Friday, after two months of conflict and brutal Israeli bombardment.

“People are frustrated, scared and angry,” he said. “All this happens in the midst of a horrific human nightmare.”

Many of the 1.9 million Gazans displaced by the war have moved south, turning Rafah near the Egyptian border into a sprawling camp.

According to the UN humanitarian agency OCHA, only 14 of the 36 hospitals in the Gaza Strip were functioning in any capacity.

Amid the rising number of civilian casualties, US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Friday that Washington believes Israel needs to do more to protect civilians in the conflict.

He added, “We certainly believe that more can be done to reduce civilian casualties. And we will continue to work with our Israeli counterparts to this end.”

The death toll also rose in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where Israeli forces shot dead six Palestinians on Friday, the region’s health ministry said.

Israel claimed on Friday that it had lost 91 of its soldiers in Gaza. The actual number of casualties is likely to be higher.

It claimed that two others were injured in an unsuccessful attempt to rescue the hostages overnight and “several terrorists” were killed in the operation.

Hamas said one hostage was killed in a failed Israeli rescue operation, and released a video showing the body, which could not be independently verified.

The attack on the US Embassy in Iraq on Friday has deepened fears of a wider regional conflict.

Barrages of rockets were fired against the mission in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, leading to dozens of recent rocket and drone attacks by resistance groups against US or coalition forces in Iraq and Syria.

Separately, three Hezbollah fighters and a Syrian were killed in an Israeli drone strike on their car in Syria’s south on Friday, a war monitor said.

WHO members urge Israel to protect humanitarian workers

More than a dozen World Health Organization member states presented a draft resolution on Friday urging Israel to respect its obligations under international law to protect humanitarian workers in Gaza.

An injured Palestinian child sits on the floor of Nasser Hospital after an Israeli attack.  Photo: Reuters

An injured Palestinian child sits on the floor of Nasser Hospital after an Israeli attack. Photo: Reuters

The text of the draft resolution will be examined on Sunday during a special session of the WHO Executive Board, called to discuss “the health situation in the occupied Palestinian territory.”

It was proposed by Algeria, Bolivia, China, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

Palestinian representatives have WHO observer status, and were also signatories to the resolution.

Member states expressed “grave concern about the devastating humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, particularly the military operations in the Gaza Strip”.

He called on Israel to “respect and protect” medical and humanitarian workers, especially those involved in carrying out medical duties, as well as hospitals and other medical facilities.

Separately, WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier told reporters on Friday that Gaza’s health system is on its knees and cannot afford to lose another ambulance or even a single hospital bed.

“The situation is becoming more dire by the day… beyond belief,” he said.

The UN humanitarian agency OCHA said late Thursday that only 14 of the Gaza Strip’s 36 hospitals were functioning in any capacity.


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