390 Palestinians killed in past 48 hours

390 Palestinians killed in Israeli attacks in past 48 hours. Gaza health authorities say 20,057 Palestinians killed 53,320 wounded since October 7. The UNSC again delays a vote on a draft resolution urging humanitarian aid access to Gaza.

390 Palestinians killed in Israeli attacks in past 48 hours
Israeli soldiers operate in the Gaza Strip amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Hamas on December 18, 2023.

The ministry of health in Gaza said in a statement on Friday that 390 Palestinians were killed and 734 injured in Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip in the past 48 hours.

Meanwhile, the United Nations warned that the Israel-Hamas war is pushing Gaza towards famine, ahead of an expected UN Security Council (UNSC) vote on Friday on a resolution to boost aid to the Palestinian territory but not call for a ceasefire.

Separate diplomatic efforts were also underway for a fresh pause in the worst-ever Gaza war, which was triggered by an unprecedented resistance by Hamas fighters on Israel in October.

With aid workers running out of words to describe conditions in Gaza, the UNSC has been locked all week in negotiations over how to phrase a resolution about the war.

The latest draft seen by AFP calls for “urgent steps to immediately allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access, and also for creating the conditions for a sustainable cessation of hostilities.”

It does not call for an immediate end to fighting. Backed by its ally the United States, Israel has opposed any reference to a “ceasefire.”

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US ambassador to the UN, told reporters that Washington would support the resolution if it “is put forward as is.”

Vowing to destroy the group, Israel began a relentless bombardment of targets in Gaza, alongside a ground invasion, which has killed 20,057 people, according to the latest toll released on Friday by Hamas authorities who govern Gaza. Most of the dead are women and children, Hamas officials say.

The entire population of Gaza faces “an imminent risk of famine,” according to a UN-backed global hunger monitoring system on Thursday. The UN estimates 1.9 million Gazans are now displaced, out of a population of 2.4 million.

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