Israel sharply increased strikes on the Gaza Strip, pounding the length of the Palestinian enclave and killing hundreds in a new, expanded phase of the war, as the U.S. on Friday again signalled that Israel could do more to protect civilians in the enclave, Reuters
The Israeli military said it had struck more than 450 targets in Gaza from land, sea and air over the past 24 hours - the most since a truce with Hamas collapsed last week and about double the daily figures typically reported since.
Decrying a "spiralling humanitarian nightmare", U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres declared that nowhere in Gaza was safe for civilians, hours before the U.S. vetoed a Security Council demand for a humanitarian ceasefire. The vote, including 13 members in favor and one abstaining, diplomatically isolated Washington as it shielded ally Israel.
"We are at breaking point," he told the U.N. Security Council, saying the collapse of the humanitarian system could result in a complete breakdown of public order.
"The people of Gaza are being told to move like human pinballs – ricocheting between ever-smaller slivers of the south, without any of the basics for survival," he said, referring to Israeli instructions to Gazan civilians to move to safe areas.
In Washington, the White House on Friday said more could be done by Israel to reduce civilian casualties and the U.S. shared international concerns about the humanitarian situation in Gaza.