Fierce fighting in Gaza as more civilians set to leave

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With updates from Rushdi Abualouf in Gaza; Jeremy Bowen, Anna Foster and Lucy Williamson in southern Israel; Lyse Doucet, Yolande Knell, Paul Adams, Wyre Davies and Alice Cuddy in Jerusalem; and Hugo Bachega in southern Lebanon

Australian FM says Israel must heed calls for ‘restraint’

  1. Gaza has witnessed fierce fighting overnight – with a live feed capturing sounds of explosions and bright flames on the horizon
  2. The Israeli military says it’s killed dozens of Hamas fighters – having earlier said its troops had broken through its enemy’s defensive lines
  3. More civilians are expected to leave Gaza via the Rafah crossing today; 400 people used the crossing yesterday for the first time since the war broke out
  4. Responding to a heckler during a speech, US President Joe Biden said there had to be a “pause” in fighting to facilitate the release of Hamas’s hostages
  5. The BBC World Service is launching an emergency radio service for Gaza on MW 639kHz, daily at 1500GMT from Friday
  6. Israel has been bombing Gaza since the 7 October Hamas attacks that killed 1,400 people, with 239 people kidnapped as hostages
  7. The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza says more than 8,700 people have been killed since Israel’s retaliatory bombing began
  8. A few hours ago, we heard from Australia’s foreign minister who confirmed that some of the country’s citizens were among those who yesterday managed to leave Gaza via the Rafah crossing.

    Speaking at a news conference in Adelaide, Penny Wong said 20 Australians, plus two family members and a permanent resident were met in Egypt yesterday. “I’m so relieved and grateful this first cohort was able to cross,” she said.

    She also issued a message to Israel: “The international community will not accept ongoing civilian deaths, so when Israel’s friends urge Israel to exercise restraint, when Israel’s friends urge Israel to protect civilian lives, it is critical that Israel listens.”

    She continued: “It matters for Israel’s own security which faces grave risks of the conflict spreads.”

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