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Gaza faces a humanitarian crisis as Israel’s blockades resulted in its only power plant running out of fuel, authorities warned yesterday.

Israel’s blockade on supplies of fuel, food, water and medicines to the Palestinian territory has left Gaza’s 2.3 million residents without electricity, internet or running water.

Its only power plant shut down after running out of fuel, leaving schools and hospitals reliant on emergency generators with dwindling supplies of fuel. Israeli air strikes continued to pound the Gaza Strip, obliterating entire neighbourhoods in retaliation for Saturday’s attacks by Hamas militants, which killed more than 1,200.

Troops and tanks gathered near the Israel-Gaza border ahead of an expected ground assault, as Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu formed an emergency government with key members of the opposition party.

Aerial view of buildings destroyed by Israeli air strikes in the Jabalia camp for Palestinian refugees in Gaza City

A man carries a child injured in Israeli airstrikes to hospital in Gaza City on October 11

Gaza’s Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights warned the enclave was on the brink of collapse. It said: ‘Soon all services vital for the survival of the population, including hospitals, will no longer function.’ It came as:

The Palestinian death toll since Saturday rose to more than 1,100, including 326 children, with thousands more wounded;

Israeli air strikes reportedly killed one of the founders of Hamas, Abd al-Fattah Dukhan, known as ‘Abu Osama’, and two other senior leaders;

Hamas continued to fire rockets into Israel, hitting a hospital in the southern city of Ashkelon;

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, on a visit to Israel, was forced to run for shelter after warning sirens sounded;

At least 17 British citizens, including children, were confirmed among the dead and missing from Saturday’s attacks;

British Airways and Virgin Atlantic suspended flights to Tel Aviv, after BA diverted one plane moments before landing.

Israel has admitted its air strikes have prioritised ‘damage, not accuracy’ and Palestinian authorities say a hospital, mosques and a university have all been hit.

Medicines and medical supplies including antiseptic are ‘on the verge of running out’, according to the Palestinian health ministry, which said women and children made up 60 per cent of those injured.

An Israeli army self-propelled howitzer fires rounds near the border with Gaza in southern Israel on October 1

Dwindling fuel supplies and damage to roads have also jeopardised rescue operations, with teams unable to reach potential survivors trapped under the rubble.

The scale of Israel’s retaliation has led to concern among the international community, including fears voiced by Pope Francis. He called on Hamas to release hostages taken during Saturday’s assault, and said he was praying for those killed, injured and bereaved in the attacks.

In his weekly audience in Rome, the Pope said: ‘Whoever is attacked has the right to defend himself. But I am very worried about the total siege under which the Palestinians in Gaza are living, where there are also many innocent victims.’

A prominent mosque in Egypt, Al-Azhar al-Sharif, called for Israel to be investigated for alleged war crimes against civilians in Gaza, including its ‘inhuman siege’.

Israel has defended its air campaign, saying it was right to strike at the ‘nest of terror’ behind the Hamas attacks.

It came as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned against the conflict spilling over into neighbouring countries. He said: ‘I appeal to all parties, and those who have an influence over those parties, to avoid any further escalation and spillover.’

Lebanese militant group Hezbollah fired an anti-tank missile at an Israeli military position yesterday. The Israeli army shelled the area in southern Lebanon where the attack was launched. Rockets have also been fired into Israel from Syria.

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

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