Gaza humanitarian crisis deepens amid escalating conflict

Hospitals in the under-siege strip warned they were at breaking point as all out war engulfed the region.

Intense Israeli air strikes hit ­northern targets, while Hamas sent a series of rockets into southern and central Israel.

In southern Gaza, tanks edged further into the city of Khan Younis where bloody battles were widely reported.

The horror of the conflict was illustrated yesterday as images showed a cluster of Palestinian bodies in bags, released to relatives from the morgue of Al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah.

With blanket bombing and street-to-street armed combat now rife, hospitals in the war-torn strip warned they were on the edge of survival.

Desperate medics said they were struggling to cope with the sheer volume of casualties, while medical supplies, as well as food, water and fuel, are all reportedly running out.

The World Health Organisation said just a third of the strip’s hospitals are now able to function at all. Meanwhile in Jenin, in the occupied West Bank, at least four people were killed when they were hit by a drone strike.

The IDF later announced that it had recovered the bodies of two more hostages – Eden Zacharia and IDF Warrant Officer Ziv Dado, who were taken captive by Hamas on October 7.

The operation to recover the bodies from the Gaza Strip was carried out by the Military Intelligence Directorate’s Unit 504, and the 551st Brigade.

US President Joe Biden also again signalled growing American caution at Israel’s approach to the war.

He said: “We continue to provide military assistance until they get rid of Hamas, but we have to be careful.

“The whole world, public opinion can shift overnight. We can’t let that happen.”

Israeli PM Mr Netanyahu also admitted that there was a disagreement with the US President regarding the “post-Hamas” Gaza strip.

“Yes, there is a disagreement when it comes to ‘the day after Hamas,’ and I hope we will come to an agreement here too,” he said.

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The United Nations last night held another emergency meeting of its security council in a bid to get through a resolution calling for a renewed ceasefire.

Israeli defence ­minister Yoav Gallant said his forces had encircled the last Hamas strongholds in Jabaliya and Shejaiya in northern Gaza.

And he claimed hundreds of Hamas operatives had surrendered or been arrested in recent days, and that the group was now on the verge of being dismantled in the north.

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