Iran has warned of the "possibility" of an "uncontrollable explosion" in the Middle East if the US continues to support Israel in the war against Hamas in Gaza.
Israel continues its offensive in the southern Gaza Strip: on the town of Khan Younis, an airstrike killed six people, while five others died in a separate attack in Rafah, the Hamas ministry said.
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The U.S. vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for an "immediate humanitarian ceasefire" in the Gaza Strip. The draft resolution, which received 13 votes in favour, one against (United States) and one abstention (United Kingdom), had been prepared by the United Arab Emirates.
"The violence perpetrated by Hamas can in no way justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people," UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the Security Council earlier.
Intense urban fighting continued to rage in and around the largest cities in the Gaza Strip.
Early Friday, Hamas' health ministry reported 40 dead in strikes near Gaza City, and "dozens" more in Jabaliya (north) and Khan Younis (south).
Israel has vowed to annihilate Hamas after the Palestinian Islamist group's Oct. 7 attack in southern Israel killed 1,200 people. On the Palestinian side, according to the latest toll from Hamas' Health Ministry, 17,487 people have been killed since the beginning of the Israeli response.
According to the Israeli government, 138 hostages remain in Gaza after the release in late November, as part of a seven-day truce, of another 105 people kidnapped on October 7 by Hamas and its allies, including 80 in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.
With AFP and Reuters
Namely: The number of casualties is provided by Gaza's Hamas-run Ministry of Health
The ministry collects information from hospitals in the enclave and the Palestinian Red Crescent.
Gaza's health ministry does not say how Palestinians were killed, either by Israeli airstrikes and/or barrages or failed Palestinian rocket fire. It describes all victims as victims of "Israeli aggression" and also makes no distinction between civilians and combatants.
During the four wars and the numerous clashes between Israel and Hamas, UN agencies have regularly cited Health Ministry figures in their reports. The International Committee of the Red Cross and the Palestine Red Crescent Society also use these figures.
In the aftermath of previous episodes of war, the United Nations Humanitarian Office published casualty figures based on its own research into medical records. The UN figures are largely in agreement with those of Gaza's Ministry of Health, with a few differences.
To read more about Gaza's Ministry of Health's assessments, click here or here.
(France 24 with AP)
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