The United Nations Security Council is set to vote on Monday on a new resolution urgently calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Gaza as the conflict between Israel and Palestinian resistance groups intensifies.

Israeli strikes on the Jabalia and Nuseirat refugee camps have resulted in several casualties, with Gaza hospitals facing relentless attacks. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has characterised the scene at al-Shifa Hospital as “a complete horror,” while the destruction of Kamal Adwan Hospital is deemed “appalling.”

Since 7 October, Israel has killed at least 18,787 Palestinians, predominantly women and children, and wounded over 51,000. Around 1,140 people reportedly lost their lives in an attack carried out against Israel by Palestinian resistance groups on 7 October. The conflict has forced displaced Palestinians to migrate to the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

Complicating matters further is the bottleneck in aid distribution. Only 24 trucks have been permitted through the Karem Abu Salem crossing, previously handled by the Rafah crossing. The new process involves security clearance at the Israeli-controlled al-Awja checkpoint. It has significantly increased the bureaucratic hurdles for transporting essential medical supplies and fuel to Gaza.

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin has arrived in Israel for talks on the ongoing war in Gaza. The visit comes as the United States faces mounting pressure regarding Israel’s conduct in the conflict.

Austin is expected to question Israeli officials on when they plan to transition to a less intense phase of the conflict. Earlier warnings by the US official highlighted the risk of a strategic defeat for Israel if it failed to protect Palestinian civilians.

Former British Defence Minister Ben Wallace argued that Israel’s indiscriminate attacks risk “fuelling the conflict for another 50 years”. He accused Israeli politicians, including Prime Minister Netanyahu, of acting recklessly and losing moral authority.

“We are entering a dangerous period now where Israel’s original legal authority of self-defence is being undermined by its own actions,” Wallace wrote to the British media. “It is making the mistake of losing its moral authority alongside its legal one.”