Israeli strikes continue in Gaza as UN Security Council demands 'urgent' aid

The U.N. Security Council on Friday demanded aid be rushed to Gaza "at scale" as the head of the World Health Organization warned of a looming famine in the besieged Palestinian territory.

As Israeli bombs rained down on targets across Gaza, members of the U.N.'s top peacemaking council demanded "immediate, safe and unhindered" deliveries of life-saving aid.

At Washington's insistence, the U.N. Security Council avoided calling for a ceasefire that would stop the 11-week-old war.

After the U.N. vote, Israel vowed to continue its air and ground assault until the Palestinian militant group is "eliminated" and an estimated 129 hostages still being held in the territory are freed.

"Israel will continue the war in Gaza" said Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, insisting the war was legal and just.

Israel's military said operations continued unabated in Gaza City, where its forces have been locked in street-to-street fighting with Hamas gunmen.

A spokesperson said Israel Defense Forces had destroyed an underground tunnel complex, "struck Hamas headquarters and eliminated terrorists".

Gaza's Hamas-run health ministry claimed more than 410 people had been killed in Israeli bombardments over 48 hours, including 16 in a strike Friday in the Gaza City district of Jabalia.

Four members of one family, including a girl, died in another strike on a civilian vehicle in Rafah in southern Gaza, said the ministry, which puts the death toll from the war at over 20,000.

With swathes of Gaza reduced to rubble, many Gazans have been forced into crowded shelters or tents, and are struggling to find food, fuel, water and medical supplies.

WHO boss Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that "hunger is present, and famine is looming...

Continue reading on: