Israeli ground forces push deeper into Gaza City as millions forced from homes

A month to the day since Israel threatened to wipe out Hamas after the October 7 attacks, the Israeli military said its forces are fighting deep inside Gaza City. ITV News Correspondent Geraint Vincent reports

  • Israel says its ground troops are battling Hamas fighters deep inside Gaza City, as millions are forced from their homes.

  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel will have “overall security responsibility” in Gaza “for an indefinite period” after its war with Hamas.

  • Vigils have been held across the world to mark the month anniversary of the Hamas attack on Israel.

  • The United Nations (UN) is calling for “humanitarian pauses" and a “humanitarian ceasefire" - Mr Netanyahu said he was open for pauses, but the UN Security Council did not reach an agreement during a meeting late on Monday night.

  • Over the past four weeks, some 10,328 Palestinians have died - most of them women and children - and the Israeli death toll stands at 1,400, according to their respective health ministries.

Israel says its ground troops are battling Hamas fighters deep inside Gaza's largest city, signaling a major new stage in the month-long conflict, as millions are forced from their homes.

Over the past week, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) says it has battled Palestinian militants inside Gaza, cutting the territory in half and encircling Gaza City.

On Tuesday, the IDF's chief spokesman, Daniel Hagari, said that Israeli ground forces “are located right now in a ground operation in the depths of Gaza City and putting great pressure on Hamas".

Hundreds of thousands have heeded Israeli orders to head to the southern part of Gaza, out of the ground assault’s path, despite continued bombardment throughout the enclave.

An estimated 1.5 million people in Gaza are internally displaced and are sheltering in hospitals, churches, and public buildings, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA).

Palestinians mourn their relatives killed in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip in Rafah. Credit: AP

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel will have “overall security responsibility” in Gaza when the violence settles.

Mr Netanyahu's comments are the first clear indication that Israel plans to keep control over the territory, where more than 10,300 people have now died since the fighting began.

Gaza should be governed by “those who don’t want to continue the way of Hamas," Mr Netanyahu said, before adding: “I think Israel will, for an indefinite period, have the overall security responsibility because we’ve seen what happens when we don’t have it.”

He ruled out any general ceasefire without the release of the more than 240 captives taken by Hamas in its October 7 raid into Israel.

But he said he was open to “tactical little pauses” in the current fighting to facilitate the release of hostages.

Tuesday marked exactly one month since Hamas launched a surprise attack on an Israel, killing over 1,400 people and escalating the conflict.

Strollers were lined up in Rome to mark the children thought to be held hostage by Hamas. Credit: AP/Domenico Stinellis

Vigils held across the world to honour Hamas victims

Mourners gathered across the world in vigils to mark one month since Hamas fighters attacked Israel.

The vigils also demanded the release of the 241 people believed to have been kidnapped by Hamas.

Toys were scattered around rows of empty strollers bearing posters with the faces and names of children believed to be taken hostage by Hamas, during a vigil in support of Israel in front of Rome's Capitoline Hill.

Flags displaying a message of American-Israeli solidarity flew in support at a rally in New York, on Monday night. Scores of people listened to a speech by Israel’s UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan at the event.

Hundreds gathered outside Downing Street, holding posters of the missing and chanting "bring them home", before participating in a prayer.

Number of Britons still in Gaza is unclear

Roughly 1,100 people have left the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing since Wednesday, under an apparent agreement among the United States, Egypt, Israel and Qatar, which mediates with Hamas.

But Britons remain trapped in Gaza. Justice Secretary Alex Chalk said the numbers were unclear, telling Sky News: “About 100 have been able to leave.”

For now, Israel's troops are focused on northern Gaza, including Gaza City, which before the war was home to some 650,000 people.

Israel says Hamas has extensive militant infrastructure in the city, including a vast tunnel network, and accuses it of using civilians as human shields.

Several hundred thousand people are believed to remain in the north in the assault’s path.

The military says a one-way corridor for residents to flee south is open, and while thousands have travelled along it in recent days, many are afraid to use the route.

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