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Israel says it troops have encircled Gaza city

Israeli forces have encircled the Hamas stronghold of Gaza City, Israel’s military says, as it continues its assault on the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) said soldiers were engaged in close quarters combat with Hamas fighters staging hit-and-run attacks from tunnels.

Channel 1

The UN said four of its schools being used as shelters had been damaged and warned water shortages were worsening.

The Hamas-run health ministry says over 9,000 Palestinians have been killed.

On Thursday the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said four of its schools being used as shelters hade been damaged in less than 24 hours.

At least 20 people were reportedly killed at a school in the Jabalia refugee camp, UNRWA said, while a child was reportedly killed at a school-turned-shelter in the Beach refugee camp.

Several people, including children, run for safety in the courtyard, while some residents of the camp watch from the windows above. A series of explosions can be heard in the background of the video. The last one, the loudest, causes the crowd in the courtyard to flee in panic.

Hamas authorities in Gaza blamed Israeli air strikes. The IDF has not yet commented.

UN-appointed experts have called for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, saying time was running out for Palestinian people there who find themselves at “grave risk of genocide”.

“The situation in Gaza has reached a catastrophic tipping point,” they said, warning that a ban on fuel entering Gaza and disruption to water supplies meant people had little access to safe drinking water.

“Water is essential to human life and today, two million Gazans are struggling to find drinking water,” they said.

The Israeli mission to the UN in Geneva called the comments “deplorable and deeply concerning” and blamed Hamas for civilian deaths.


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