Israel seeks 'indefinite period' of control

HAMAS' armed wing said late on Tuesday it fired missiles at Tel Aviv, and rocket sirens sounded in the Israeli city and other cities in central Israel.

Israelis in Tel Aviv marked one month since the Hamas attack with a candlelight vigil around photos of the hostages at Habima Square. Some people wept, some sang or prayed.

"I came to look at the faces of the hostages, to feel part of it. ... I want to be by the sides of the families whose loved ones are" in Gaza, said Valeria Nesterov, 24, a make-up artist.

Israel has so far been vague about its long-term plans if it achieves its stated goal of vanquishing Hamas. In some of the first direct comments on the subject, Netanyahu said Israel would seek to have security responsibility for Gaza "for an indefinite period" after the war.

But officials said Israel is not interested in governing the enclave. Gallant, Israel's defence minister, said that after the war was finished, neither Israel nor Hamas would rule Gaza.


Gaza's already dire living conditions have deteriorated further following a month of relentless bombardment. Nearly two-thirds of Gaza's 2.3 million residents are internally displaced, according to UN figures, with thousands seeking refuge at hospitals including in makeshift canvas shelters in their car parks.

At Gaza City's Al Shifa hospital, Um Haitham Hejela, a woman sheltering with young children in an improvised tent fashioned from fabric, said they fled their home because of air strikes.

"The situation is getting worse day after day," she said. "There is no food, no water. When my son goes to pick up water, he queues for three or four hours in the line. They struck bakeries, we don't have bread."

The World Health Organisation estimates 122,000 displaced Gazans are sheltering in hospitals, churches and other public buildings across the strip, with a further 827,000 in schools.

The Israeli military has accused Hamas of hiding tunnel entrances and operational centres inside Al Shifa hospital, which the group has denied.

International organisations and Western countries have been urgently trying to get aid into the strip and get foreign nationals out.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said a humanitarian convoy came under fire in Gaza City on Tuesday.

After rerouting, the convoy delivered medical supplies to Al Shifa hospital. Calling the incident "deeply troubling," the organisation said two trucks were damaged and a driver was lightly wounded. It did not identify the source of the firing. — REUTERS

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