Israel bombarded the Gaza Strip as it prepared for a ground invasion it says is aimed at annihilating the Palestinian militant group Hamas as Russia warned the conflict could spread beyond the Middle East.
In besieged Gaza humanitarian supplies were critically low, as world powers failed to agree on a lull to the fighting to deliver aid, and residents buried the dead in mass graves as the civilian toll mounted.
United States President Joe Biden, in remarks looking beyond the war, said on Wednesday (Oct 26) that the future should include Israeli and Palestinian states side by side., killing at least 1,400 people and taking scores of hostages, was to prevent normalising relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia.
“Otherwise, further escalation of the crisis is fraught with grave and extremely dangerous and destructive consequences. And not only for the Middle East region. It could spill over far beyond the borders of the Middle East.”
Asked about the report, US officials told Reuters that Washington has raised its concerns with Israel that Iran and Iranian-backed Islamist groups could escalate the conflict by attacking US troops in the Middle East. An Israeli incursion into Gaza could be a trigger for Iranian proxies, they said.
Iran, Israel’s arch-enemy, has sought regional ascendancy for decades and backs armed groups in Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere as well as Hamas. It has warned Israel to stop its onslaught on Gaza. Israeli security and emergency officials inspect a damaged building following a rocket attack from Gaza Strip in Rishon Lezion, Israel on Oct 25, 2023. (Photo: Reuters/ Ammar Awad) calling for pauses in hostilities to allow food, water and medicine to be delivered to Palestinian civilians. The United Arab Emirates also voted no, while 10 members voted in favor and two abstained.
As the death toll mounts in Gaza, Palestinians are burying the unidentified dead in mass graves, with a number instead of a name, residents say. Some families are using bracelets in the hope of finding their loved ones should they be killed.