Live blog: Heavy fighting under way in Gaza’s south amid Israeli invasion

Hamas resistance fighters have battled Israeli occupational troops in the heart of southern Gaza’s main city where a top resistance leader is believed to be present, while Israel pressed its invasion across the besieged territory.

Israeli troops, tanks, armoured personnel carriers and bulldozers rolled into Khan Yunis, forcing already displaced civilians to flee again, witnesses said.

Hamas said late on Wednesday on Telegram its fighters were engaged in fierce battles against the invading troops “on all axes of the incursion into the Gaza Strip” , as it claimed they destroyed two dozen military vehicles in Khan Yunis and Beit Lahia in the north of the territory.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video statement that Israeli forces were closing in on the home of Hamas’s chief in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, with a spokesman saying he is “underground” in the Khan Yunis area.

But humanitarian organisations have warned the spread of Israel’s war into the south of the Gaza will leave civilians who fled the north, much of which is now devastated, with nowhere to go.

“We are devastated, mentally overwhelmed,” said Khan Yunis resident Amal Mahdi. “We need someone to find us a solution so we can get out of this situation.”

Israel calls Antonio Guterres’ tenure ‘danger to world peace’

Israel’s hardline Foreign Minister Eli Cohen has said the UN chief’s tenure is “a danger to world peace”, saying his calls for a ceasefire in Israel’s war on besieged Gaza constitute “support for Hamas”.

“His [Antonio Guterres] request to activate Article 99 and the call for a ceasefire in Gaza constitutes support of the Hamas terrorist organisation and an endorsement of the murder of the elderly, the abduction of babies and the rape of women,” Cohen said in a tweet.

“Anyone who supports world peace must support the liberation of Gaza from Hamas,” he added.

Israel approves ‘minimal’ fuel increase to Gaza

Israel has approved a “minimal” increase in fuel supplies to besieged Gaza in what it says is an attempt to prevent a “humanitarian collapse”, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said.

A “minimal supplement of fuel — necessary to prevent a humanitarian collapse and the outbreak of epidemics” had been approved to enter “into the southern Gaza Strip”, Netanyahu’s office wrote on X, formerly Twitter, adding that the “minimal amount” would be reconsidered “from time to time by the War Cabinet.”

Arab countries seek ceasefire in new UN push

Arab states have sought to leverage UN chief Article 99 activation to push the Security Council to call for a ceasefire within days.

The United Arab Emirates gave the council a brief draft resolution, seen by the Reuters news agency, that would act on the letter from Guterres by demanding an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” in Israel’s war on Gaza.

Diplomats said the UAE aims to put the text to a vote on Friday when the council is due to be briefed by Guterres on Gaza. To be adopted, a resolution needs at least nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the five permanent members — the United States, Russia, China, France or Britain.

“The UAE draft resolution has the support of the Arab and OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) group. This is a moral and humanitarian imperative and we urge all countries to support the call of the Secretary General,” the UAE mission to the UN posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The United States and ally Israel oppose a ceasefire.

Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour said Arab ministers were due to visit Washington on Thursday and would discuss the draft Security Council resolution with US officials.

“On top of the agenda is this war has to stop,” he told reporters as Arab UN ambassadors stood with him. “A ceasefire has to take place and it has to take place immediately.”



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