The Latest | As conditions worsen for Palestinians in Gaza, international pressure grows for a deal

Nearly five months of fighting has left much of Gaza in ruins and created a worsening humanitarian catastrophe

The Associated Press
Wednesday 06 March 2024 09:30 GMT

Nearly five months of fighting has left much of Gaza in ruins and created a worsening humanitarian catastrophe, with many, especially in the devastated northern region, scrambling for food to survive while pressure grows internationally for Israel and Hamas to reach a deal.

The United States, Qatar and Egypt have spent weeks trying to broker an agreement in which Hamas would release up to 40 hostages in return for a six-week cease-fire, the release of some Palestinian prisoners and an major influx of aid to the isolated territory. But the talks have so far failed to achieve a breakthrough.

“We must get more aid into Gaza,” U.S. President Joe Biden said Tuesday. “There’s no excuse. None.”

Aid groups have said it has become nearly impossible to deliver supplies within most of Gaza because of the difficulty of coordinating with the Israeli military, the ongoing hostilities and the breakdown of public order.

Israel launched its offensive after Hamas-led militants stormed across the border on Oct. 7, killing some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and abducting around 250. Over 100 hostages were released in November in exchange for 240 Palestinians imprisoned by Israel. The overall Palestinian death toll is more than 30,700, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry. It does not differentiate between civilians and combatants in its figures, but says women and children make up around two-thirds of the total casualties. It says over 72,000 people have been wounded.


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Here's the latest:


RAFAH, Gaza Strip — Gaza’s Health Ministry says the Palestinian death toll from the Israel-Hamas war has climbed to 30,717. It said Wednesday that 86 bodies were brought to local hospitals in the last 24 hours, in addition to 113 wounded people.

The ministry is part of the Hamas-run government and maintains detailed casualty records. Its figures from previous wars have largely matched those of the United Nations, independent experts and even Israeli counts.

The ministry does not differentiate between civilians and combatants in its tallies, but says women and children make up around two-thirds of those killed. It says the real toll is higher as there are bodies buried in the rubble from Israeli airstrikes and in areas that paramedics cannot access. It says over 72,000 people have been wounded in the war.

Israel says it has killed over 10,000 Hamas fighters, without providing evidence.

The war began after Hamas launched a surprise attack into Israel on Oct. 7, in which Palestinian militants killed around 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took around 250 hostage. Israel’s offensive has driven some 80% of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million from their homes and pushed hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to the brink of starvation.


LONDON — British Foreign Secretary David Cameron says he will warn a member of Israel’s War Cabinet that allies’ patience is running thin over the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Cameron is due to meet Wednesday with Benny Gantz, who is stopping in London on the way back from a trip to Washington. Cameron told members of Parliament’s House of Lords on Tuesday that people in Gaza “are dying of hunger” and Israel must let in more humanitarian aid.

“We’ve had a whole set of things we’ve asked the Israelis to do, but I have to report to the House that the amount of aid they got in in February was about half what they got in January,” he said. “So patience needs to run very thin and a whole series of warnings need to be given, starting I hope with a meeting I have with minister Gantz when he visits the U.K.”

Gantz, a rival to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is visiting Washington and London without the Israeli prime minister’s approval.

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