Israel-Hamas conflict live updates: Israeli ambassador says Gaza humanitarian situation is ‘fair’ as death toll continues to rise

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  • Albanese hasn’t spoken to Netanyahu
  • Israel bombs southern Gaza as world leaders seek pause in fighting
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Albanese hasn’t spoken to Netanyahu

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has told reporters in Washington DC that he hasn’t been able to speak to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Albanese said he was still endeavouring to speak to his Israeli counterpart.

“I have spoken with the Israeli ambassador on a number of occasions,” Albanese said.

“We continue to, though we understand that, obviously, Mr Netanyahu has pressures on which at the top of the list is not the discussion with the Australian Prime Minister,” he said.

“We understand the pressures which are there. But we have a request for a [call].”

It comes after Foreign Minister Penny Wong joined others yesterday in calling for a “humanitarian pause” to hostilities.

Israel bombs southern Gaza as world leaders seek pause in fighting

Gaza/Jerusalem: Israel stepped up bombings of south Gaza, killing many Palestinians, officials said on Wednesday, as violence flared elsewhere in the Middle East and a showdown loomed at the United Nations over aid for the besieged enclave.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled from north to south in tiny, crowded Gaza after Israel warned them it would bombard mainly the north to wipe out Hamas militants after their cross-border killing and kidnapping spree in Israel on October 7.

A Palestinian man evacuates a wounded girl out of the destruction following Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City.Credit: AP

Among Wednesday’s casualties, an internally displaced person was killed and 44 were injured in an air strike near a United Nations Relief and Works Agency school in the southern town of Rafah, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip said.

The school was sheltering 4600 people and sustained severe collateral damage, a United Nations Relief and Works Agency statement said.

The overall Palestinian death toll now exceeds 6500, the health ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza said on Wednesday. Reuters has not been able to independently verify the casualty figures of either side in the war.

Israel had told civilians in the northern Gaza Strip, including residents of Gaza City, to move to the south of the enclave, saying it will be safer there as the military attacks Hamas following its October 7 cross-border assault.

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Today’s headlines

Good morning, Najma Sambul here.

I’ll be bringing you the latest developments from the conflict in Israel and Gaza. Here’s a summary of where things stand.

  • It is just close to 11pm in the affected region, bringing the 19th day of the conflict to a close.
  • US officials: Invading Gaza could spur Iran-backed attacks on US forces.
  • Netanyahu reaffirms Israel preparing for Gaza invasion.
  • Israel bombs south Gaza after warning Palestinians to leave north.
  • France’s Macron says a Gaza invasion would be “error” for Israel.
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