Sky News witnesses chaos of Israeli drone strike – as dead child pulled from rubble


A Sky News team witnessed a dead child being pulled from the rubble in Gaza and desperate attempts to dig out survivors following an Israeli drone strike.

The attack happened during filming on Wednesday at a hospital in Rafah, near the Egyptian border.

A father took cover behind a car with his terrified children while the drone circled overhead threatening more strikes.

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The body of a child was uncovered as people dug through debris with their hands and an injured man lay waiting for help, unable to move his legs.

Sky’s Middle East correspondent, Alistair Bunkall, said it’s unclear why the area was attacked and that people had been told Rafah was safe.

The stark reminder of the situation in Gaza comes as the US secretary of state suggested more countries should urge Hamas to surrender.

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Antony Blinken said there seemed to be a silence on what Hamas should do to end the suffering – with the vast amount of pressure falling on Israel.

“We hear many countries urging an end to this conflict, which we would all like to see,” said the secretary of state.

“I hear virtually no one saying, demanding of Hamas, that it stop hiding behind civilians, that it lay down its arms, that it surrenders.

“This is over tomorrow if Hamas does that,” Mr Blinken said.

But speaking at an end-of-year media conference, he again stressed Israel must do more to reduce the terrible effect on innocent people.

“We continue to believe that Israel does not have to choose between removing the threat of Hamas and minimising the toll on civilians in Gaza,” said Mr Blinken.

He said he wanted Israel to shift to more targeted attacks to save lives.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken holds a joint press conference with British Foreign Secretary David Cameron at the State Department in Washington, U.S., December 7, 2023. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein
Mr Blinken has visited Israel several times since the war started

More than 20,000 people have now been killed and 52,000 wounded in Gaza since October, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

Millions have also been forced from their homes and are living with scant food, water and medicine.

At least 46 people died and more than 100 were wounded early on Wednesday in a strike on the Jabalia refugee camp near Gaza City, said a health ministry official.

Israel launched the offensive after Hamas killed more than 1,200 people in a surprise attack on 7 October and has vowed to wipe out the terror group.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh travelled to Cairo on Wednesday for talks aimed at securing another ceasefire.

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Reports suggest Israel has offered a week-long pause in exchange for around 40 hostages.

Israel is under increasing pressure to free the estimated 129 people still being held by Hamas after the IDF last week accidentally killed three Israeli captives.

Egypt, Qatar and the US are mediating the indirect talks but there is currently no sign a deal is near.

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President Biden told reporters “we’re pushing” but that an agreement still appeared some way off.

Hamas has said no more hostages will be freed until the war ends.

More than 100 Israelis and 240 Palestinian prisoners were released during a week-long truce last month.

An Israeli soldier operates in the Gaza Strip
Pic: Israel Defense Forces/Reuters
An Israeli soldier in the Gaza Strip. Pic: Israel Defense Forces/Reuters

Hopes for an end to the war still appear slim, with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu maintaining that he will not stop until Hamas is wiped out.

“We will continue the war until the end. It will continue until Hamas is destroyed, until victory,” he said on Wednesday.

“Whoever thinks we will stop is detached from reality,” he added.

Read more:
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UN aid vote delayed again

Israel says 134 of its soldiers have died in its ground offensive, while it claims to have killed 7,000 militants – without providing evidence.

It blames Hamas for civilian deaths, saying it deliberately embeds itself among the population.

Meanwhile, a UN vote on an attempt to boost aid to Gaza has again been delayed at the request of America.

The 15-member UN Security Council was initially going to vote on Monday, but it has repeatedly been delayed as diplomats say the UAE and the US are struggling to agree on language.

The text – drafted by the UAE – aims to dilute Israel’s control over humanitarian aid to Gaza.

“Negotiations are ongoing and need more time. A rushed vote does not seem like it will end well,” a UN diplomat told Reuters.

The vote is now expected to happen on Thursday.

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