Israeli army chief says strike killing aid workers was ‘grave mistake’


Netanyahu has promised to push on with the war to destroy Hamas despite nightly protests demanding he step down.

He has also faced pushback from staunch ally the United States.

The White House said in a statement on Monday it had once again expressed concerns to Israel about a planned offensive in Gaza’s southern city of Rafah, which is overcrowded with 1.5 million people, most of them displaced by the war.

Israel pledged to “take these concerns into account”.

The bloodiest-ever Gaza war erupted with Hamas’s Oct 7 attack, which resulted in about 1,160 deaths in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.

Israel’s retaliatory campaign has killed at least 32,900 people, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza.

Palestinian militants also seized around 250 hostages. Israel believes about 130 remain in Gaza, including 34 presumed dead.

The World Bank on Tuesday released an interim assessment that said the war had caused about US$18.5 billion worth of damage to Gaza’s critical infrastructure.

That was equivalent to 97 per cent of the combined economic output of the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank in 2022, it said.

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