Israel's military has said it struck 400 militant targets and
killed an unspecified number of Hamas fighters in the past 24
hours. Gazan health officials said hundreds of Palestinians had
been killed since the end of the truce.
"We don't have precise reports but what I can say is the
resumption of fighting was intense again," ICRC Director General
Robert Mardini told Reuters at the COP28 U.N. summit in Dubai.
"It's a new layer of disruption coming on top of massive,
unparalleled destruction of critical infrastructure, of civilian
houses and neighbourhoods," he said, warning that the violence
would make it difficult to get humanitarian aid into Gaza.
Mardini described Gaza as being in "shambles and rubble". The
ICRC had 130 staff working there, he said.
Israel and Hamas have traded blame over the collapse of the
truce, during which the Palestinian militant group had released
hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners from Israeli
The war started on Oct. 7 when Hamas militants stormed Israel,
when Israeli authorities say they killed about 1,200 Israelis
and foreigners and took around 240 hostage. The ensuing Israeli
bombardment and invasion of Gaza has killed over 15,000
Palestinians, according to health officials in the enclave.
Mardini said that people in Gaza were "living in constant fear
of violent death" and struggling to survive amid shortages of
food and water caused by the fighting, while hospitals were
working with limited resources.
"Everything in Gaza is at the breaking point," he said.
The truce, which started on Nov. 24 and was extended twice, saw
Israeli women and children and foreign hostages freed in
exchange for Palestinian prisoners. But after seven days,
mediators failed to agree on a third extension.
The Red Cross, a neutral, Swiss-based organisation, had helped
facilitate those exchanges, including transporting hostages that
were held in Gaza by the Hamas militant group.
"We stand ready to facilitate further release operations of
hostages in Gaza, Palestinian detainees to be reunited with
their families," Mardini said.
(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing Giles Elgood)
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