Israel continues bombarding Gaza, including places it told Palestinians to evacuate to

RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli warplanes struck parts of the Gaza Strip in relentless bombardment Saturday, hitting some of the dwindling bits of land it had told Palestinians to evacuate to in the territory’s south.

The strikes came a day after the United States vetoed a United Nations resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza, despite its wide support. The vote in the 15-member Security Council was 13-1, with the United Kingdom abstaining.

“Attacks from air, land and sea are intense, continuous and widespread,” U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the council before the vote. Gaza residents “are being told to move like human pinballs – ricocheting between ever-smaller slivers of the south, without any of the basics for survival.”

Gaza was at a “breaking point” with the humanitarian support system at risk of collapse, and Guterres said he feared “the consequences could be devastating for the security of the entire region.”

Gaza’s borders with Israel and Egypt are effectively sealed, leaving 2.3 million Palestinians with no option other than to seek refuge within the territory 25 miles (40 kilometers) long by some 7 miles (11 kilometers) wide.

With the war now in its third month, the Palestinian death toll in Gaza has surpassed 17,400, the majority women and children, according to the Health Ministry in the Hamas-controlled territory, whose counts do not differentiate between civilians and combatants.

Two hospitals in central and southern Gaza received the bodies of a total of 133 people from Israeli bombings over the past 24 hours, the Health Ministry said midday Saturday.

Israel holds the Hamas militants responsible for civilian casualties, accusing them of using civilians as human shields, and says it has made considerable efforts with evacuation orders to get civilians out of harm’s way. It says 93 Israeli soldiers have died in the ground offensive after Hamas’ deadly Oct. 7 raid in Israel that killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took about 240 hostage.

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