Israel strikes Gaza after US vetoes UN ceasefire bid

Israel intensified its strikes in Gaza on Saturday after the United States blocked an extraordinary UN bid to call for a ceasefire in the two-month war.

Hamas and the Palestinian Authority swiftly condemned the US veto as the Hamas-run health ministry put the latest death toll in Gaza at 17,487 people, mostly women and children.

An Israeli strike on the southern city of Khan Yunis killed six people, while five others died in a separate attack in Rafah, the ministry said Saturday.

Israel has vowed to eradicate Hamas over its unprecedented attack on October 7 when militants broke through Gaza's militarised border to kill around 1,200 people and seize hostages, 138 of whom remain captive, according to Israeli figures.

Vast areas of Gaza have been reduced to rubble and the UN says about 80 percent of the population has been displaced, with dire shortages of food, fuel, water and medicine reported.

"It's so cold, and the tent is so small. All I have are the clothes I wear, I still don't know what the next step will be," said Mahmud Abu Rayan, displaced from Beit Lahia in the north.

A UN Security Council resolution that would have called for an immediate ceasefire was vetoed by the United States on Friday.

US envoy Robert Wood said the resolution was "divorced from reality" and "would have not moved the needle forward on the ground".

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said the ceasefire "would prevent the collapse of the Hamas terrorist organization, which is committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, and would enable it to continue ruling the Gaza Strip".

Hamas slammed on Saturday the US rejection of the ceasefire bid as "a direct participation of the occupation in killing our people and committing...

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