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Over 4,000 killed in Gaza amid new doubts over aid

Death toll in Gaza passes 4,000 as humanitarian aid looks doubtful
17 min read
Israel continues its bombing campaign in the Gaza Strip for the 14th consecutive day, with a Greek Orthodox church being the latest target and new doubts about whether aid will be let into the besieged territory.

Israeli airstrikes destroyed a Greek Orthodox church which was sheltering members of Gaza's Christian minority on Thursday night leaving several people dead and injured. 

The church is next to the Al-Ahli Baptist hospital where an Israeli strike on Tuesday evening killing hundreds of displaced Palestinians sheltering on the hospital grounds. 

The strikes come as Israel continues an assault of the Gaza strip which has been described as "beyond catastrophic" by the UN. The indiscriminate Israeli strikes have so far killed 3,785 Palestinians, including 1,524 children according to the Palestinian health ministry.

The continued attacks and the lack of electricity, water, food and fuel has led to urgent calls for humanitarian aid to cross into Gaza, with more than 200 trucks waiting to enter at the Rafah border crossing with Egypt. 

However, Israel's Kan 11 news channel reported that Israeli officials were uncertain whether aid trucks would be allowed to enter the Gaza Strip from Egypt on Friday. Egypt also stated that it needed time to repair damaged roads on the Palestinian side of the crossing to allow the trucks to enter. 

Meanwhile, the Israeli army began evacuating the northern town of Kiryat Shmona, in addition to other border communities, as a precaution against a wider confrontation with Hezbollah. 

The town of 20,000 residents is close to the Israel-Lebanon border, which has witnessed an uptick of clashes between the Israeli army and Hezbollah since the start of the Gaza war on 7 October.

Hezbollah confirmed that 13 of its fighters had been killed since the clashes began, with the group using rockets and guided missiles to strike Israeli army positions. Israel has hit Hezbollah positions with artillery strikes.