Israeli ground troops and tanks have conducted an overnight raid into northern Gaza as they look to further intensify their ongoing attacks in the besieged enclave. The raid is seen as part of preparations for a full-scale ground invasion.

Israeli forces have intensified their airstrikes over the past 24 hours, killing 756 Palestinians including 344 children. The latest deaths bring the total number of Palestinians killed in Israeli attacks to over 7,000, including nearly 3,000 children. Over 17,000 people have been wounded.

Meanwhile, Riyad al-Maliki, the Palestinian Authority’s foreign minister, met with senior International Criminal Court (ICC) officials in The Hague, following his criticism of the UN Security Council’s inaction. The Palestinian Authority, which controls the West Bank and claims authority over Gaza, but without actual control, seeks international support for its cause.

The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has issued a warning that relief efforts in Gaza may halt unless fuel supplies are urgently received. This could have an impact on hospitals, bakeries, and water pumps, leaving civilians in dire straits. Oxfam accused Israel of employing starvation as a weapon of war against Gaza’s civilian population.

Hospitals grapple with the challenges of a total blockade, severe fuel shortages, and the Israeli bombings, making it increasingly difficult to provide essential medical care to the injured.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres expressed shock at what he considered the Israeli government’s misrepresentation of his remarks to the UN. Israel’s demand for his resignation and the move to withdraw travel visas for UN officials have further escalated diplomatic tensions.

Turkey’s President Erdogan has said that he Israeli attacks on Gaza have long crossed the threshold of self-defence and turned into open “oppression, brutality, a massacre and barbarism.”

Qatar’s Prime Minister expressed hope for a breakthrough in negotiations led by Qatar for the release of hostages held by Hamas. However, Qatar has warned that an Israeli invasion could jeopardise these efforts, further complicating the path to a resolution.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called for pauses in the fighting to allow humanitarian aid to reach those in need. However, he did not explicitly endorse a total ceasefire.

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his belief that a “massive” Israeli ground incursion into Gaza would be an error. He discussed this with his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, who also urged efforts to avoid a ground invasion, highlighting the international community’s growing concerns about the potential consequences of such a move.

The UN noted that Israel’s long-standing blockade has severely impacted Gaza’s economy. Even before the current crisis, 80% of Gaza’s residents were dependent on international aid, and the blockade, in effect for decades, has resulted in two-thirds of Gaza’s population living in poverty and unemployment rates as high as 45%.