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Fighting rages in Gaza

Jerusalem (AFP) – Fighting raged in Gaza Sunday for the 30th day and, according to Israeli officials, killed more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and abducted over 240 others.

Since October 7, Israel has relentlessly bombarded the Gaza Strip and sent in ground troops, with the health ministry in the Hamas-run Palestinian territory saying 9,488 people have been killed, around two-thirds of them women and children.

Here are key developments from the past 24 hours:

The Hamas-run health ministry said more than 30 people were killed in an Israeli bombing on the Al-Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza late Saturday.

An Israeli military spokesperson said they were looking into whether its troops had been operating in the area at the time.

Hamas said in a statement that Israel had “directly” bombed citizens’ homes, adding that most of the dead were women and children.

Earlier on Saturday, the health ministry said at least 15 people were killed when Israel struck the Al-Fakhura school in Jabalia refugee camp, operated by the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA.

Thousands of displaced Palestinians were sheltering at the school in the north of the Palestinian territory when it was hit, a ministry spokesperson said.

Israeli chief of staff Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi visited troops inside the Gaza Strip Saturday, a military spokesman said, in the first such visit since the war began four weeks ago.

Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said Israeli forces were fighting “hard” inside Gaza, and that troops had “completed the encircling” of Gaza City.

Israeli soldiers had “entered populated areas”, he said.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken faced a rising tide of anger in meetings with five Arab foreign ministers in Jordan on Saturday, a day after Israel rebuffed his efforts to secure humanitarian “pauses” in its war to destroy Hamas.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, whose country has been acting as the sole conduit for foreigners to escape Gaza and for aid to get in, called for an “immediate and comprehensive ceasefire”.

Blinken is set to hold talks in Turkey on Sunday.

In this picture taken from the Israeli side of the border fence, an Israeli tank rolls inside the Gaza Strip on November 5 amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement. PHOTO: AFP

Turkey said it was recalling its ambassador to Israel and breaking off contacts with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in protest at the bloodshed in Gaza.

Hamas welcomed the moves by Ankara and urged it “to put pressure on President (Joe) Biden and his administration” so that “humanitarian and medical help can reach our besieged people in the Gaza Strip”.

Thousands protested in Istanbul Saturday against the visit.

Gaza’s Hamas government suspended the evacuation of foreign passport holders to Egypt Saturday after Israel refused to allow some wounded Palestinians to be evacuated to Egyptian hospitals, a border official said.

“No foreign passport holder will be able to leave the Gaza Strip until wounded people who need to be evacuated from hospitals in north Gaza are transported through the Rafah crossing” to Egypt, the official said on condition of anonymity.

On Friday, a senior White House official accused Hamas of abusing a US-brokered deal to open the crossing to get its fighters out of Gaza.

One-third of the names on a list provided by Hamas of Palestinians needing medical evacuation were those of Hamas members and fighters, the official said.

This picture taken from Sderot along the border with the Gaza Strip early on November 5 shows smoke and fire rising over the Palestinian enclave during an Israeli strike, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement. PHOTO: AFP