intense as ever. Israeli strikes in southern and central Gaza intensified on Wednesday despite a pledge by Israel that it would pull out some troops and shift to a more targeted campaign, and pleading from its ally Washington to reduce civilian casualties.
Israel’s chief military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said in a televised briefing late on Wednesday that the military was focusing its operations on Khan Younis and the refugee camps in the centre of the strip.
In the latest sign of the three-month-old war spreading, U.S. and British warships in the Red Sea fended off the biggest attack yet from Yemen’s Houthi movement, which says it is acting to support Gaza. Washington and London said they shot down 21 drones and missiles aimed at shipping lanes. No one was hurt.
The U.N. Security Council late Wednesday approved a resolution demanding the Houthis immediately cease the shipping attacks.
Israel had said this week it was planning to begin drawing down troops, at least from the northern part of Gaza, after weeks of U.S. pressure to scale down its operations and shift to what Washington says should be a more targeted campaign.
The World Health Organization cancelled a planned medical aid mission to Gaza due to security concerns, the sixth such cancellation in two weeks.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said four of its staffers were killed when their ambulance was hit by an Israeli strike on the main road near Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip. Two passengers in the ambulance were wounded and later died.
Palestinian health officials at Abu Youssef An-Najar Hospital in Rafah, said four Palestinian children were killed in an Israeli air strike on a house in Rafah.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, on his fourth trip to the region since the war began, went to Ramallah in the Israeli occupied West Bank on Wednesday and met Palestinian leaders, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
The State Department said Blinken expressed support for a Palestinian state and discussed efforts to protect and aid civilians in Gaza. The Palestinian Authority said Abbas told Blinken no Palestinians should be displaced from Gaza or the West Bank. (Source: Reuters)
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