Palestinians inspect the remains of a residential building in Rafah. Pics/AP
Israel's military called for more evacuations in southern Gaza as it widened its offensive aimed at eliminating the territory's Hamas rulers. The war has already killed thousands of Palestinians and displaced over three-fourths of Gaza's 2.3 million residents, who are running out of safe places to go.
The Health Ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said the death toll in the territory since October 7 has surpassed 15,500, with more than 41,000 wounded. The ministry does not differentiate between civilian and combatant deaths, but said 70 per cent of the dead were women and children.
Israel says it targets Hamas operatives and blames civilian casualties on the militants, accusing them of operating in residential neighbourhoods. It claims to have killed thousands of militants, without providing evidence. Israel says at least 81 of its soldiers have died.
Hopes for another temporary truce faded after Israel called its negotiators home over the weekend. Hamas said talks on releasing more of the scores of hostages seized by Palestinian militants must be tied to a permanent cease-fire.
Human rights lawyers went to court in the Netherlands on Monday calling for a halt to the export of fighter jet parts to Israel that could be used in attacks on Gaza. The rights organisations say delivery of parts for F-35 jets makes the Netherlands complicit in possible war crimes by Israel in its war with Hamas. The rights lawyers want The Hague District Court to issue an injunction banning exports of F-35 parts stored in a warehouse in Woensdrecht. Lawyer Reimer Veldhuis urged the court's single judge to reject the injunction.
The British government said its military plans to fly unarmed surveillance drones over the Gaza Strip in search of hostages taken by Hamas. The Ministry of Defense said the flights will not have a combat role and the only information passed on will be for the purpose of rescuing hostages still held since Hamas attacked Israel. During the break in fighting, Hamas released 110 hostages. "Around 100 hostages have been released, but there are still many more being held captive," Health Secretary Victoria Atkins said.
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