Intense fighting in and around major cities in the Gaza Strip this morning.

The Hamas-controlled health ministry said 40 people were killed in strikes near Gaza City and dozens more in Jabalia to the north and Khan Younis to the south.

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War between Israel and Hamas 1208

Following the unprecedented letter from Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the UN Security Council is due to rule today on the call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the enclave. The outcome of the vote is unclear in the tense diplomatic context.

Against this background - criticism from US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken of Israel. According to Washington's top diplomat, there is a "gap" between Israel's statement that it will protect the lives of Palestinian civilians and the actual way fighting is conducted in Gaza.

Palestinian Authority Works With U.S. to Create Post-War Plan to Govern Gaza

"The Israelis are evacuating neighborhoods, but not entire cities. Much more thought needs to be given to those who may suffer while the campaign against Hamas is being conducted. To establish safe zones where people can go and be safe - away from the firing line. After the end of the humanitarian break, it is imperative for Israel to be a priority for the protection of civilians. There is a gap between what they told me while I was there that they intend to protect civilians and the reality we see on the ground," said Anthony Blinken, secretary of state.

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The War Between Israel and Hamas

Intense fighting