Israel encircles Gaza City and splits strip 'in two' as it ramps up for major assault on Hamas

5 November 2023, 23:06 | Updated: 6 November 2023, 05:43

Gaza City has been encircled amid heavy bombing from the IDF ahead of an anticipated ground offensive.
Gaza City has been encircled amid heavy bombing from the IDF ahead of an anticipated ground offensive. Picture: Getty

By Chay Quinn

Israel has encircled Gaza City - effectively splitting the strip in two amid heavy bombing and expectations of a large assault on Hamas.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Israeli IDF troops have reached the sea after pushing deep into the Palestinian enclave, cutting off Gaza City as it prepares for an anticipated assault on Hamas infrastructure.

Power and electricity have been cut off to the region for the third time since its war with Hamas began.

Israel “will continue to attack strongly and continue to intensify our ground operation in the northern Gaza Strip and greater Gaza City”, it said on Sunday.

“Today there is north Gaza and south Gaza,” Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said, calling it a “significant stage” in Israel’s war against the Hamas militant group.

The IDF has said it is still “allowing a corridor” for those in northern Gaza and Gaza city to travel south.

The confirmation of the encirclement came after Israeli warplanes struck a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip early on Sunday, killing at least 53 people and injuring dozens of others according to health officials.

Read More: Warplanes strike Gaza refugee camps as Israel rejects call to suspend fighting

The attack came as Israel said it will press on with its offensive to crush the territory's Hamas rulers, despite US appeals for a suspension of the fighting to get aid to desperate civilians.

Israeli attacks on Gaza continue
Israeli attacks on Gaza continue. Picture: Getty

Read more: Met Police 'stops work with adviser' after community revealed to have sang anti-Israel chant in 2021

Read more: We need similar moral outrage shown for Israelis killed by Hamas as there was for George Floyd, says Deputy PM

America's top diplomat Antony Blinken called for more humanitarian aid to be taken into Gaza, as he said: “We have about 100 trucks a day going in, that’s good, but it’s insufficient. So we’re now we’re workin on raising that significantly so that more aid in a sustained way gets into Palestinians who need it.”

The soaring death toll in Gaza has sparked growing international anger, with tens of thousands from Washington to Berlin taking to the streets on Saturday to demand an immediate ceasefire.

Israel has rejected the idea of halting its offensive, even for humanitarian reasons. Instead, it said Hamas is "encountering the full force" of its troops.

"Anyone in Gaza City is risking their life," Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said.

Large columns of smoke rose as Israel's military said it had encircled Gaza City, the initial target of its offensive.

Gaza's Health Ministry has said more than 9,400 Palestinians have been killed in the territory in nearly a month of war, and that number is likely to rise as the assault continues.

Ashraf al-Qidra, the spokesperson for the Gaza health ministry, called for safe passage for 400 critically injured people to leave Gaza through Rafah and said hospitals had almost exhausted their last fuel supplies.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Strictly Come Dancing is reportedly considering hiring chaperones for celebrity stars after misconduct claims against two professional dancers.

Strictly Come Dancing could 'hire celebrity chaperones' after two professionals accused of misconduct

Police confirmed the human remains belonged to missing teen Jay Slater after a 29-day search

Jay Slater's mother pays tribute to 'beautiful boy' after body confirmed as that of missing teen

King Charles will lay out Labour's plan for government in the King's Speech.

What will be in Keir Starmer's first King's Speech and what does it mean?

Jamie Howlett is a serving police constable at the Metropolitan Police Service

Serving Metropolitan Police officer charged with sexually assaulting two children and raping adult

Body found in Jay Slater search is missing Briton, police confirm

Body found in Jay Slater search is that of missing Briton, police confirm

Police paused their search for Jay Slater two weeks after he vanished.

Madeleine McCann detective hunting Jay Slater breaks silence after ‘deteriorated’ human remains found in search

Children have been ‘left to fend for themselves’ when parents sent to prison (right stock image)

Children 'left to fend for themselves' when parents sent to prison – because authorities 'don't know about them'

The Spanish Civil Guard said Jay Slater, from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, could have fallen in a steep and inaccessible area

Jay Slater's best friend Lucy Law pays heartbreaking tribute to 'happiest' person after his ‘deteriorated’ body found

Victoria Thomas-Bowen appears at Westminster Magistrates' Court today after Nigel Farage was drenched in a banana flavoured drink

OnlyFans model, 25, to stand trial after denying throwing a McDonald’s milkshake over Nigel Farage

Jay Slater was 'killed instantly' after falling from height in Tenerife family believe

Body found in hunt for Jay Slater was 'very deteriorated' as Tenerife officials reveal key details

Prince William hailed Southgate as a "true leader" in a touching tribute to the coach.

'A class act': Will and Kate share touching tribute to Gareth Southgate as England boss resigns

Swansea, 9th August 2016. Picture by Robert Melen. Vaughan Gething, cabinet secretary for health, Well-being and sport.

Vaughan Gething to quit as Welsh First Minister

Basildon Remains In Top Three Worst Areas For Covid Infections

Manhunt launched after woman stabbed and robbed in hospital car park by masked knifeman

Gareth Southgate is to leave his role as England manager

Read in Full: Gareth Southgate's emotional statement resigning as England manager

Gareth Southgate has quit as England manager after Euro 2024 final defeat

'It's been the honour of my life': Gareth Southgate quits as England manager after Euro 2024 final defeat

A 25-year-old Brit is missing in Sardinia

Urgent hunt for missing Brit, 25, in Sardinia as desperate mum issues plea after he 'undressed and vanished'