GAZA STRIP, (Palestinian Territories): The Israel-Hamas war is pushing Gaza towards famine, the United Nations warned ahead of an expected Security Council vote Friday on a resolution to boost aid to the Palestinian territory but not call for a ceasefire.

At the few hospitals in Gaza still functioning, more wounded arrived after renewed Israeli strikes.

In the Gaza City district of Jabalia, a strike on a house killed 16 people and wounded more than 50, the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said.

Northern Gaza no longer has any functioning hospitals, and only nine of the territory’s original 36 hospitals are still partly functioning, the World Health Organization has said.

Four members of one family, including a girl, died in a strike on a civilian vehicle in Rafah, southern Gaza, the health ministry said.

In video shot by AFP, the vehicle looked like it had been pounded by a giant hammer that splayed its roof, leaving the wreckage blackened and blood-stained.

“The Jeep was hit. Five minutes later people gathered and a second attack took place. Two strikes on the same Jeep,” said Hamada Abu Taha, a witness.

With aid workers running out of words to describe conditions in Gaza, the UN Security Council has been locked all week in negotiations over how to phrase a resolution about the war.

The latest draft seen by AFP calls for “urgent steps to immediately allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access, and also for creating the conditions for a sustainable cessation of hostilities.”

It does not call for an immediate end to fighting.

Backed by its ally the United States, Israel has opposed any reference to a “ceasefire”.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US ambassador to the UN, told reporters that Washington would support the resolution if it “is put forward as is”.

The war began on October 7 when Hamas gunmen broke through Gaza’s militarised border and killed around 1,140 people in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures. Palestinian also abducted about 250 people.

Vowing to destroy the group, Israel began a relentless bombardment of targets in Gaza, alongside a ground invasion, which has killed 20,057 people, according to the latest toll released Friday by Hamas authorities who have ruled Gaza since 2007.

Most of the dead are women and children, Hamas officials say.

The entire population of Gaza faces “an imminent risk of famine”, according to a UN-backed global hunger monitoring system on Thursday.

The UN estimates 1.9 million Gazans are now displaced, out of a population of 2.4 million.

With homes destroyed, they are living in crowded shelters and struggling to find food, fuel, water and medical supplies. Diseases are spreading, and communications have been repeatedly cut.

According to the UN, the number of aid trucks entering Gaza is well below the daily pre-war average. Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Thursday said Israel could enable as many as “400 trucks a day” of aid and blamed the UN for failing to bring more.

In north Gaza, parts of Gaza City including Shujaiya have seen street-by-street combat — even building-by-building — between Israeli soldiers and Hamas fighters.

According to the military, the deaths of two more soldiers in Gaza brought to 139 the number killed since it began its ground assault on October 27.


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