Israeli Offensive Escalates: Over 200 Killed in Latest Strikes on Gaza

Gaza: More than 200 people have been reported killed in Gaza in the last 24 hours due to Israeli strikes, according to Hamas-controlled authorities. The United States is urging Israel to prioritize the protection of civilians. Israel’s 11-week-long “Operation Swords of Iron” continues, with the focus on ousting Hamas.

The Israeli army reports 152 soldiers killed in the offensive. Gaza City and Khan Yunis are now the main battlegrounds, both considered strongholds of the group responsible for the October 7 attacks on Israel.

Amid heavy Israeli shelling, smoke rises over the northern coastal area and Khan Yunis. The death toll, as per Hamas, has surpassed 20,000, a claim contested by Israel.

President Joe Biden discussed the military operation’s objectives and the need to protect civilians in a conversation with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Israel maintains its commitment to continue until all goals are achieved.

International efforts for a ceasefire are ongoing. The US allowed a UN Security Council resolution emphasizing the urgent delivery of aid to Gaza. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres accuses Israel of hindering aid deliveries.

In Gaza’s southern city of Rafah, residents express the desire for a ceasefire rather than just aid. The war has displaced 80% of Gaza’s 2.4 million population.

Efforts to revive a truce and prisoner swap appear stalled after an earlier truce ended a week after securing the release of 80 Israeli hostages in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners.

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