South East Asian Headlines & Breaking News

As Israel’s Siege Intensifies For The Fifth Day, Gaza’s Sole Power Plant Runs Out Of Fuel; Neighbourhoods Face Blackout Threat

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Airstrikes pounded neighbourhoods in Jerusalem throughout the night and into Wednesday as Israel stepped up its offensive on the Gaza Strip for the fifth consecutive day in response to an attack by Hamas. The war, which has claimed at least 2,100 lives on both sides, is expected to escalate.

Israel vowed an unprecedented offensive against the Islamic militant group ruling Gaza after its fighters broke through the border fence and stormed into the country’s south on the weekend, gunning down hundreds of Israelis in their homes. Videos showed Hamas fighters descending onto a gathering at an outdoor music festival by paragliding and shooting Israelis at point blank range.

They dragged an estimated 150 people – soldiers, men, women, children and the elderly – into captivity in Gaza. Israeli airstrikes hammered the Gaza Strip neighbourhood by neighbourhood on Tuesday, leaving people scrambling for shelter. “There is no safe place in Gaza right now,” journalist Hasan Jabar said after three Palestinian journalists were killed in the bombardment of a downtown neighbourhood home to government ministries, media offices and hotels.

Latest updates:

US extends military support to Israel

The first United States plane carrying advanced armaments “designed to facilitate significant military operations” landed Tuesday evening at the Nevatim Airbase in southern Israel, the Israel Defence Forces said. “We are grateful for the US backing and assistance to the IDF, and to the State of Israel in general, during this challenging period. Our common enemies know that the cooperation between our militaries is stronger than ever, and is a key part in ensuring regional security and stability,” the IDF said in a statement. Meanwhile, Turkey and Germany slammed United States’ decision to step up military support for Israel.

‘Hostile aircraft’ enters Lebanon

The Israeli military said Wednesday night that hostile aircraft had entered the country from Lebanon, setting sirens blaring across northern Israel as it urged citizens there to shelter. The news came after Hezbollah fired anti-tank missiles at an Israeli military position earlier Wednesday, claiming to have killed and wounded troops.

Deaths of US citizens in ongoing war rises

The number of US citizens confirmed to have been killed in the Israel-Hamas war has risen to 22, the State Department said Wednesday. That is an increase from the 14 who’d been confirmed dead one day earlier.

Gaza’s sole power plant runs out of fuel

Israel on Tuesday blocked the entry of food, fuel and medicine into Gaza. The power authority in Gaza said its sole power plant ran out of fuel and has been shut down due to the bloackade, leaving the territory without electricity. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees told Al Jazeera it has less than two weeks’ supply of food and water to assist the more than 180,000 people who have sought refuge in their schools in Gaza.

Israel warns citizens in Gaza to evacuate

Israel is warning civilians to evacuate their neighborhood and then inflicting devastation on the area. On Tuesday, the military told residents of the al-Daraj neighborhood to evacuate. New explosions soon rocked it and other areas, continuing into the night. More than 250,000 people have fled their homes from Gaza, according to the United Nations.

Destruction in Gaza

Many dead and injured are stuck under rubble in Gaza even as airstrikes continued by Israel. Ambulances and civil defence teams are unable to approach areas where people were reported trapped under crumbled infrastructure, Eyad Bozum, the Interior Ministry spokesperson, said in a statement. Videos of areas in Gaza show the scale of destruction with collapsed buildings, mangled infrastructure and streets turned into fields of rubble.

The drone video below shows the extent of damage inflicted on Gaza’s Rimal neighbourhood.

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