Israel-Gaza war: Gaza facing Israeli attacks from land, sea, and air, witnesses report – as it happened

It is 5pm in Gaza and Tel Aviv. We will be closing this blog soon, but you can stay up to date on the Guardian’s Israel-Gaza war coverage here and on the Middle East here. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Here is a recap of the latest developments:

A day after a UN-run school in Gaza was struck, eyewitnesses told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that the Nuseirat refugee camp had come under attack again as Gaza faced Israeli attacks from land, sea, and air. Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza, said at least 37 people were killed in Thursday’s Israeli strike on the UN-run school in Nuseirat camp.
Witnesses also reported Israeli strikes east of Deir al-Balah and intense fire from army vehicles near the Bureij camp, where a blaze was raging. Six people were killed and several injured in an Israeli strike on the Wafati home in Maghazi camp, a source at al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital told AFP.
Israeli forces pounded Rafah from the air and ground overnight as tanks tried to advance farther west, residents told Reuters. Witnesses told the news agency that tanks that have taken control along the borderline with Egypt made several raids towards the west and the centre of the southern city, injuring several residents who had been trapped inside their homes and were taken by surprise.
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address the US Congress on 24 July “to build on our enduring relationship and to highlight America’s solidarity with Israel,” US political leaders have said in a statement, adding that the Israeli leader was being invited to give the “Israeli government’s vision for defending democracy, combatting terror, and establishing a just and lasting peace in the [Middle East] region”. Netanyahu’s appearance before a growingly divided Congress is sure to be contentious and likely to be met with protests both inside the Capitol from lawmakers and outside by pro-Palestinian protesters.
“We have normalised horror” said Sam Rose, the director of planning for the Palestinian relief agency Unrwa, after Thursday’s Israeli strike on a school. Mass casualty incidents caused by the Israeli military offensive in southern Gaza are becoming normalised in the west and leading to a sense of fatalism inside Gaza itself, Rose said as he returned to London after five weeks in Gaza.
A key section of the US military-built pier designed to carry aid into Gaza by boat has been reconnected to the Gaza beach after storm damage repairs, and aid will begin to flow soon, US Central Command (Centcom) announced on Friday. The section that connects to the beach – the causeway – was rebuilt nearly two weeks after heavy storms damaged it and abruptly halted the delivery route. Humanitarian aid is expected to begin moving into Gaza through the maritime route in the coming days.
UN secretary-general António Guterres called on Thursday for an end to hostilities along the demarcation line between Lebanon and Israel, warning of the risk of a broader conflict. “As the exchanges of fire across the Blue Line continue, the secretary-general renews his calls to the parties to urgently cease fire,” UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said in a statement, referring to the demarcation line between Israel and Lebanon. “These exchanges of fire could trigger a broader conflict with devastating consequences for the region,” he added.
Fighter jets targeted the al-Sultan neighbourhood of Rafah, sources in the city on the border with Egypt told AFP.
The Israeli military said it “eliminated dozens of terrorists” in eastern Bureij and Deir al-Balah. It released footage of soldiers conducting operations in bombed-out buildings in the southern city of Rafah.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) also the head of a Hamas rocket-launching cell was killed in an airstrike in the central Gaza area, reported the Times of Israel on Friday.
Osama al-Kahlut of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said “occupation forces and snipers” east of Deir al-Balah were firing on people along Gaza’s main thoroughfare.“Gunfire on Salaheddin Street has severely restricted people’s movement, and several wounded people have been evacuated from the area,” he told AFP.
Qatari and Egyptian mediators, backed by the US, have stepped up efforts to reach a ceasefire deal, that will halt hostilities and see the release of Israeli hostages and a number of Palestinians jailed by Israel, but sources close to the talks told Reuters there were no signs of a breakthrough. “We have shown all the flexibility needed to reach a deal but the Israeli occupation continues to refuse any commitment to end the aggression and pull its forces from the Gaza Strip,” a Hamas official told the news agency.
More than 36,731 Palestinians have been killed and 83,530 have been injured since 7 October in Israel’s military offensive, the Gaza health ministry said on Friday. The ministry said 77 Palestinians were killed and 221 had been injured in the past 24 hours.
Egypt’s state-linked Al-Qahera news quoted a high-level source on Thursday, saying Cairo had “received positive signs from the Palestinian movement signalling its aspiration for a ceasefire”. But the Beirut-based senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan cast doubt on the proposal, calling it “just words”. Qatar said on Thursday that Hamas has not yet given its response to the truce plan.
At least nine Yemeni employees of UN agencies have been detained by Yemen’s Houthi rebels under unclear circumstances, authorities said on Friday. Regional officials, speaking to the Associated Press (AP) on condition of anonymity as they were not authorised to brief journalists, confirmed the UN detentions. It is unclear what exactly sparked the detentions, wrote the AP.
Two bodies and several injured people were recovered after Israeli forces targeted a house near al-Salam mosque in the Sabra neighbourhood of Gaza City, Al Jazeera reported, citing Gaza’s civil defence.
Unemployment in the Gaza Strip has reached nearly 80% since the war with Israel began last October, the UN labour agency said on Friday, bringing the average unemployment rate across Palestinian territories to more than 50%. “Imagine with this very high level of unemployment, people will not be able to secure food for themselves and for their families,” Ruba Jaradat, ILO regional director for Arab states said. “This is also impacting their health …. Even if they have money, there are no hospitals that can accommodate the catastrophic situation there.” tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud tud
Al-Masirah TV, the main television news outlet run by Yemen’s Houthi movement, said on Friday that US and British forces had carried out four airstrikes on the airport of Hodeidah and the seaport of Salif, to the north.
Labour party leader Keir Starmer is planning to use the Labour manifesto to make his strongest commitment on Palestinian statehood since the war in Gaza started, sources have told the Guardian, in a move to shore up the party’s core support on the left. The final version of the manifesto will be agreed in a meeting with unions on Friday and launched officially next Thursday.

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