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UN General Assembly calls for 'humanitarian truce' in Gaza as humanitarian crisis worsens

Palestinians carry a dead person who was found in the debris following Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City.
Palestinians carry a dead person who was found in the debris following Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City. Copyright AP Photo/Abed Khaled)
Copyright AP Photo/Abed Khaled)
By Euronews with AFP/AP
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All the latest developments from the Israel Hamas war.

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 The UN General Assembly approved a non-binding resolution on Friday calling for a “humanitarian truce” in Gaza. 

The 193-member world body adopted the resolution by a vote of 120-14 with 45 abstentions after rejecting a Canadian amendment backed by the United States to unequivocally condemn the 7 October “terrorist attacks” by Hamas and demand the immediate release of hostages taken by Hamas.

Israeli army says ground forces will expand their activity in Gaza

The Israeli military on Friday said its ground forces were “expanding their activity” in the Gaza Strip, as the army moved closer to a full-on ground invasion of the besieged territory.

Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the army’s spokesperson, said aerial attacks had been targeting Hamas tunnels and other targets.

“In addition to the attacks that we carried out in recent days, ground forces are expanding their activity this evening,” he said. “The IDF is acting with great force ... to achieve the objectives of the war.”

Israel has amassed hundreds of thousands of troops along the border with Gaza ahead of an expected ground offensive against the Hamas militant group.

Israel has been pounding Gaza with airstrikes since Hamas militants carried out a bloody cross-border incursion on 7 October. 

'Humanitarian catastrophe deepens' in Gaza

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says that 10 of its staff, including a combat surgery team, entered Gaza on Friday, along with six trucks of aid. 

They carried enough medical supplies to treat between 1,000 and 5,000 people, the ICRC said, plus water purification tablets for 50,000 litres of water.

This crucial humanitarian assistance is a small dose of relief, but it's not enough,” said Fabrizio Carboni, the ICRC’s regional director. 

“Our surgical team and medical supplies will help relieve the extreme pressure on Gaza’s doctors and nurses. But safe, sustained humanitarian access is urgently needed.”

“This humanitarian catastrophe is deepening by the hour,” he said.

Meanwhile, UNESCO said that since the start of the war on 7 Oct, more than 200 schools have been damaged by Israeli strikes in the Gaza Strip - around 40% of the total there. 

Gaza's Health Ministry says 7,326 people, including more than 3,000 children, have been killed since the start of the war with Israel.

Nearly 19,000 people have been injured since Israel started its bombardment, in retaliation for the unprecedented attacks by the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas on its territory. 

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Palestinians inspect the rubble of destroyed buildings following Israeli airstrikes on town of Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023.
Palestinians inspect the rubble of destroyed buildings following Israeli airstrikes on town of Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023.Mohammed Dahman/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.

Poll finds 49% Israelis want to hold off on Gaza invasion

Almost half of Israelis support holding off on an invasion of the Gaza Strip, a poll published on Friday has found. 

The results could show public reluctance to escalate the offensive against Hamas, as Israeli leaders ready their forces. There are fears an invasion could endanger the lives of those taken captive by Hamas in Gaza. 

Israel vowed to annihilate the Palestinian militant group after it killed 1,400 people in a surprise assault on 7 October. 

It unleashed a relentless bombardment on Gaza, which so far has killed more than 7,000 Palestinians, and stepped up tank and infantry raids on the besieged enclave. 

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In the poll published by the Maariv newspaper, 29% of Israelis agreed the military should launch a large-scale ground offensive immediately, 49% said "it would be better to wait", while 22% were undecided. 

Its poll from 19 October found that 65% supported a major ground offensive. 

Israelis take cover as a siren warns of incoming rockets fired from the Gaza Strip, t a cemetery in Holon, central Israel, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023.
Israelis take cover as a siren warns of incoming rockets fired from the Gaza Strip, t a cemetery in Holon, central Israel, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023.Petros Giannakouris/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.

Iran-backed militants fire at US troops

Fighters supported by Iran fired rockets at an oil facility housing US troops in eastern Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 

The UK-based monitor said six rockets hit al-Omar oil field in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour. The Observatory said it wasn't clear if there were any casualties.

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The attack came hours after US jets hit Iran-linked sites connected to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps in eastern Syria, as regional tensions over the Israel Hamas war continue to soar. 

It called the strikes retaliation for drone and missile attacks against US bases and personnel in the region that began early last week.

The US wants to hit Iranian-backed groups suspected of targeting it to deter future aggression, possibly fueled by Israel’s war against Hamas. 

Yet, it is also working to avoid inflaming the region and provoking a wider conflict, as violence spills over into southern Lebanon, Egypt and Syria.

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Russia defends hosting Hamas for talks

The Kremlin has dismissed criticism of its talks with a senior Hamas figure in Moscow, saying it was vital to maintain contact with all parties. 

Russia has tried to manoeuvre carefully over the Israel-Hamas war as it seeks to expand its global clout. The Israeli Foreign Ministry criticised Moscow for hosting Abu Marzouk, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, and urged Russia to expel him.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said it discussed the release of hostages in the Gaza Strip and the evacuation of Russian nationals and other foreign citizens during Thursday’s talks with Hamas.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia considers “it necessary to continue contacts with all the parties and we will certainly continue our dialogue with Israel.”

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He wouldn’t comment when asked if Hamas’ visit could hurt Russian-Israeli ties.

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