Israeli missile strikes convoy of ambulances hit as Netanyahu reject calls for humanitarian pause

An Israeli missile slammed into a line of ambulances near Gaza's biggest hospital, with its director confirming at least 10 people were killed. The Hamas-run Health Ministry said the convoy was taking wounded patients to the south, while Israel said the vehicles were ferrying terrorists. ITV News Correspondent Emma Murphy reports

  • Blast as the largest hospital in Gaza destroys convoy of ambulances, the Hamas-run Ministry of Health said.

  • Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah delivered a speech on the conflict between Israel and Hamas, as concerns mount over the conflict expanding.

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, after he flew into the Middle East.

  • Mr Netanyahu vowed there will be no ceasefire in Gaza until each of the more than 200 hostages which Hamas took captive is returned.

  • Gaza's Health Ministry said the Palestinian death toll has now surpassed 9,200 - most of them women and children.

  • More than 1,400 people died in Israel during attacks by Hamas on October 7 - including 326 soldiers - according to the Israeli government.

The largest hospital in Gaza has been struck in an Israeli attack leaving dozens injured and a convoy of ambulances destroyed as Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu pushed back against growing US pressure for a 'humanitarian pause' to fighting.

Multiple videos from the scene outside Al-Shifa hospital on Friday showed at least a dozen bodies. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) admitted the airstrike claiming an ambulance was being used by Hamas.

The Palestinian Red Cross said a "group of ambulance vehicles returning from a mission to transport injured individuals to the Rafah border" were hit.

The immediate cause has not yet been confirmed and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are yet to take responsibility for the blast. Credit: ITV News/ahmedhijazee

In a statement, Israel said: “An IDF aircraft struck an ambulance that was identified by forces as being used by a Hamas terrorist cell in close proximity to their position in the battle zone.

“A number of Hamas terrorist operatives were killed in the strike. We have information which demonstrates that Hamas' method of operation is to transfer terror operatives and weapons in ambulances.”

IDF soldiers are advancing in the strip by beginning to launch targeted attacks on militant cells within Gaza City, the force said.

Daniel Hagari, the IDF spokesman, claimed troops had uncovered Hamas tunnels, rigged them with explosives, and killed militants as the operations continue.

There is growing international alarm at spiraling Palestinian deaths and deepening misery for civilians from weeks of Israeli bombardment and calls are growing for a pause in fighting to allow aid in and protest citizens.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians remain in Gaza City, many of whom are sheltering in United Nations (UN) facilities, despite an Israeli evacuation call.

About 1.5 million people in Gaza, or 70% of the population, have fled their homes, the UN said.

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, more than 9,200 Palestinians have died since fighting broke out in October - including more than 3,800 children.

Netanyahu shoots down calls from Blinken for humanitarian pause

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected calls by the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday for a humanitarian pause in Gaza without the return of hostages.

Mr Blinken was in Tel Aviv for talks with Mr Netanyahu and president Issac Herzog where he reiterated US support for Israel's right to defend itself but added "we need to do more to protect Palestinian civilians."

He also used the visit to discuss efforts to get aid into the territory and prevent fighting from spilling over regionally.

Mr Netanyahu has ruled out any chance of a ceasefire in Gaza without the return of more than 200 hostages, which Hamas have taken into the territory. He vowed on Friday that Israel will push on with "all of its power".

Hezbollah leader warns Israel against Lebanon attack

Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's leader, spoke publicly for the first time since fighters belonging to proscribed terror group Hamas - an ally of Hezbollah - killed 1,400 people in southern Israel on October 7.

Speaking via video link from an undisclosed location, Nasrallah praised the Hamas attack, saying: "This great, large-scale operation was purely the result of Palestinian planning and implementation."

He blamed the United States for the Israel-Gaza crisis and claimed the Hamas attack was "proof that Israel is weaker than a spider's web".

Celebratory gunshots rang out over Lebanon's capital, Beirut, as thousands packed into a square to watch Nasrallah's speech.

In recent weeks, Hezbollah, which itself is deemed a proscribed terror group in the UK, has been engaging in clashes with Israeli forces along the latter's northern border with Lebanon.

The group, like Hamas, is backed by Iran and is the largest political and military force in Lebanon.

Mr Hagari said the IDF is on a "very high level of alertness" at the Lebanese border, a day after unusually fierce exchanges of fire in the area.

Supporters of Hezbollah raise their fists as the group's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, delivers a speech via video link. Credit: AP

Hundreds flock to Rafah border as mass exodus continues

In recent days, several hundred injured Palestinians and foreign passport holders have been able to arrive in Egypt from Gaza via the Rafah border crossing.

Nearly 100 British nationals were expected to use the crossing on Friday, with Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf confirming his in-laws were among those allowed to cross into Egypt from Gaza.

The latest list published by the Palestinian Border Authority included 92 people described as British citizens, out of a total of 127 people named under the UK section of the list.

Among the Brits were Elizabeth and Maged El-Nakla, the in-laws of Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf.

He shared the “deep personal relief” felt by his family as he confirmed his wife's parents have managed to leave Gaza.

Nearly 100 British citizens were on the list of those cleared to get out of Gaza, via the southern Rafah Crossing on Friday, including the in-laws of Humza Yousaf, the First Minister of Scotland, who confirmed they have made it out of the strip.

A statement from Mr Yousaf and his wife on Friday said: “We are very pleased to confirm that Nadia’s parents were able to leave Gaza through the Rafah crossing this morning.

“We are very grateful to all of those who have assisted our parents over the last few weeks, including the FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) crisis team.

“These last four weeks have been a living nightmare for our family, we are so thankful for all of the messages of comfort and prayers that we have received from across the world, and indeed from across the political spectrum in Scotland and the UK.”

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