Gaza cut off amid fuel shortages as Israeli forces recover bodies of hostages

ITV News Correspondent's Rachel Younger and Dan Rivers report on the latest developments as fighting between Israel and Hamas continue

  • The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) said its soldiers in Gaza City have recovered the bodies of two women taken hostage by Hamas.

  • Southern Gaza has reportedly been hit by Israeli airstrikes on Friday, after Israeli forces conducted leaflet drops telling people to flee. The move has been interpreted as a sign that Tel Aviv is to expand its offensive beyond Gaza City.

  • Paltel, the Palestinian telecoms provider, has said that communications have been wiped out across Gaza because of a lack of fuel.

  • More than 11,300 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the war between Israel and proscribed terror group Hamas.

  • At least 1,200 people were killed in Israel, following Hamas' October 7 attack in the south of the country.

Gaza has been effectively cut off, with internet and phone networks down as the UN warned there was a “desperate” need for food.

It comes as Israeli forces recovered another body of hostage from Gaza, a day after the IDF said it had recovered the body of a grandmother abducted on October 7.

Paltel, the main Palestinian telecom provider, has said a shortage of fuel has caused blackouts in wireless connections and telephone services.

The collapse in communications has forced humanitarian aid deliveries to Gaza through the Rafah border crossing to be halted, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) said.

People pulled survivors from the rubble following an airstrike in Rafah on Friday. Credit: AP

“We have seen fuel and food and water and humanitarian assistance being used as a weapon of war,” Juliette Touma, UNRWA communications director said.

“Children are pleading for a sip of water and a piece of bread” at the 153 UNRWA facilities now jammed with 800,000 displaced Palestinians, she said.

Food is increasingly scarce while two in every three people do not have access to clean drinking water, the United Nations (UN) said.

At least 41 people have been killed after an airstrike hit an area in the Nuseirat refugee camp

Israeli forces strike Gaza after calls for evacuation

An airstrike hit an area in the Nuseirat refugee camp on Friday killing at least 41 people, with more than 50 remain buried under the rubble.

Mohammed Zaqout, the head of Gaza’s hospitals, said a total of 35 people were killed in airstrikes in Khan Younis and the nearby town of Rafah overnight.

Bani Suheila, an area east of Khan Younis, located in the southern half of Gaza, was also hit after residents received calls to evacuate shelters on Thursday.

Witnesses say dozens were killed in the strike, but an exact death toll is yet to be confirmed by authorities.

The evacuation notices have triggered fears that Israel is expanding its offensive, which is currently focused on northern Gaza.

Most of Gaza’s 2.3 million people are crowded into the south, including hundreds of thousands who followed Israel’s calls to evacuate the north as IDF forces concentrated their offensive in the area.

At least 11,470 Palestinians — two-thirds of them women and minors — have been killed since the war began, according to Palestinian health authorities, which do not differentiate between civilian and militant deaths. About 2,700 people are reported missing.

Israel vowed to wipe out Hamas after the militant group launched its October 7 attack.

Some 1,200 people have died in Israel, mostly during the initial attack, and around 240 were taken captive by militants.

Bodies of Hamas hostages recovered, IDF says

The IDF said Noa Marciano, 19, was found by al-Shifa hosptial. Credit: IDF

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said its soldiers in Gaza recovered the body of a 19-year-old soldier who was reportedly abducted by Hamas during its October 7 attack.

It said Noa Marciano was found by troops adjacent to the al-Shifa Hospital, and claims she was killed by Hamas.

Soldiers gathered in Israel on Friday to carry the flag-draped casket carrying her body during her funeral.

Israeli soldiers carry the flag-draped casket of Corporal Noa Marciano, during her funeral in Israel. Credit: AP

On Thursday, the IDF said it recovered the remains of 65-year-old Yehudit Weiss from a structure adjacent to medical facility.

The militant group is yet to respond to the claims and there is no evidence as to how they died.

IDF soldiers have been targeting the hospital this week, under the reasoning that it is operating on top of a Hamas base, a claim which staff at Shifa and Hamas vigorously deny.

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