The violence between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas continues to escalate, with the Gaza Strip’s two million residents left almost completely without power.

Hamas, which rules Gaza and is classified as a terrorist organisation by Australia and other Western nations, launched a multi-pronged surprise attack against Israel on Saturday, killing civilians and abducting others.

Israel has responded by bombarding Gaza in a massive wave of air strikes, and imposing a “complete siege” on the region.

Follow our live coverage of the conflict below.

Israel forms extraordinary unity government

Israeli media reports that members of the nation’s opposition will join Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet in an emergency “unity government”, in a show of bipartisanship as the response to Hamas’s attack unfolds.

‘Worse than ISIS’: Israeli PM shares horrific image

The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, has shared a photograph of what appears to be a child’s bed covered in blood, citing it as proof that Hamas is “worse than ISIS”.

Mr Netanyahu did not provide any further context.

Gaza’s only power station goes dark

The only power plant in the Gaza Strip, which is under Israeli bombardment and siege, shut down on Wednesday after it ran out of fuel, the Palestinian enclave’s electricity authority said.

“The only power plant in the Gaza Strip stopped functioning at 2pm (local time),” the authority’s head, Jalal Ismail, said in a statement, having earlier warned that it was running short of fuel.

It means Gaza’s population of roughly two million people is now without power, with the exception of what can be provided by private generators.

Gaza man loses eight family members

A Gaza resident has lost eight members of his family, including his pregnant wife, as a result of Israel’s attacks on the region.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Ala al-Kafarneh is the only survivor of an Israeli air raid that killed his family, who are some of the 1050 now confirmed dead after the retaliatory attacks.

“We received a message to leave Beit Hanoon town, so we went to the beach refugee camp. They threatened the building we were in, so we went to find safety,” he said.

“But the building we were in was also threatened so we had to move to Sheikh Radwan town where we stayed in an apartment. Around 4am, a strike hit us. We don’t know why. We have done nothing.”

Hospitals on the brink

Hospitals in Gaza are becoming increasingly overwhelmed and face shortages in crucial medical supplies.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) warned that without power, the situation will deteriorate rapidly for healthcare workers and patients, as Israel’s retaliation continues through Wednesday.

Executive director of MSF-USA Avril Benoît said the aid agency was “seeing shortages of water, electricity, and fuel, which hospitals rely on for their generators”.

“Some hospitals only have enough fuel for four days,” she said.

Israel launches 250 air strikes in just one hour into “Nest of Terror”.

Forces unleashed 250 air strikes in just one hour early on Wednesday, Fox News’ Trey Yingst reported.

The IDF said the area hit is a “Nest of Terror” used by Hamas militants to launch attacks against Israel.

Dozens of buildings were reduced to rubble – leaving unknown numbers of bodies beneath mounds of debris as residents scrambled to find safety.

Albanese announces repatriation flights

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has told Australians in Israel they will have the option to fly home on Friday.

The Federal Government is reportedly in talks with Qantas and Virgin to offer repatriation flights to Israel to help those who wish to flee the region.

“Australians who want to leave Israel on our assisted departure flights must register with the Australian government’s 24-hour consular emergency centre,” he said.

“We are assessing all options to get Australians home as soon as possible who wish to travel back here.

“We have been working on these contingencies over recent times and will continue to do so across the range of issues as a result of the appalling and abhorrent attacks by Hamas that we saw on the weekend.”

Graphic images as Israel continues extraction

Israeli workers are still removing dead bodies from the city of Sderot, four days after the city was attacked by Hamas.

The Israeli death toll has risen past 1,200 on Wednesday, while the Palestinian health ministry says 1,055 people have been killed over 5,100 others injured since Israel‘s retaliation.

Thousands attend Sydney vigil for Israel attacks

Thousands are attending a vigil organised by Sydney’s Jewish community to commemorate the deaths of more than a thousand Israeli civilians after the weekend’s shock attack from Palestinian militant group Hamas.

Organisers said by 6pm, close to 5000 attendees had flooded Rodney Reserve in Dover Heights in Sydney’s east.

Couple Danielle Chaanger and Gioel Gottlieb, both of whom are Jewish, said they had been “devastate and crushed” at the Hamas attack.

“This morning I went to my doctor and my doctor’s wife sister had been shot. She barricaded herself in the house, but they kidnapped her neighbours and killed her baby,” he said.

He said he was at the vigil in a show of support for Israel.

“We are not here to protest. We’re here to show that we are very different. We’re here to unite ourselves because we love each other,” he said.

Gaza power plant on brink of shutdown

Gaza’s power plant, the only source of electricity in the embattled region, will run out of fuel within hours as Israel continues its total siege.

Head of the Palestinian Energy Authority Thafer Melhem told Voice of Palestine radio that Gaza could be completely without power in just three hours.

Israel has also vowed to cut off the region from food, fuel and water supplies in an effort to choke Hamas.

Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN secretary-general, said over a dozen healthcare workers had been killed or injured over the past two days of retaliation.

“Damage to water, sanitation and hygiene facilities has undermined services to more than 400,000 people,” Mr Dujarric said via the BBC.

“The Gaza Power Plant is now the only source of electricity and could run out of fuel within days.”

Israel retaliates after Hezbollah attack

The IDF conducted retaliatory strikes on Lebanon on Wednesday in response to missile attacks originating from Lebanese territory aimed at an Israeli military position at the border.

Hezbollah claimed responsibility for the missile launches, claiming they had caused “a large number of confirmed casualties”.

The attack occurred near the Israeli town of Arab al-Aramshe, across from the Lebanese village of Dhayra on Wednesday.

Residents of the southern Lebanese town of Rmeish reported Israeli shelling in their vicinity as Israeli artillery shells targeted the rocket launch point near Dhayra.

The IDF confirmed it is carrying out the strikes and has not yet provided information on casualties.


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By Rahul

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