(NEWSnet/AP) – The Israeli military said its troops and tanks briefly entered northern Gaza overnight into Thursday, hitting several militant targets as a wider ground incursion loomed after more than two weeks of war.

Israeli airstrikes have devastated parts of the Gaza Strip, leaving neighborhoods in rubble and hospitals struggling to treat masses of wounded with diminishing resources.

The United Nations warned it's on the verge of running out of fuel in the Gaza Strip, forcing it to sharply curtail relief efforts in the blockaded territory. And the U.N. Security Council failed again to address the Israeli-Hamas war, rejecting rival resolutions by the United States and Russia.

The war is the deadliest of five Gaza wars for both sides.

The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry said Thursday that more than 7,000 Palestinians have been killed so far — more than three times the number of Palestinians killed in the six-week-long Gaza war in 2014. In the occupied West Bank, more than 100 Palestinians have been killed in violence and Israeli raids following Hamas’ surprise rampage on Oct. 7 in southern Israel.

The Associated Press couldn't independently verify the death tolls cited by Hamas, which says it tallies figures from hospital directors.

The fighting has killed more than 1,400 people in Israel, according to Israeli officials, mostly civilians who died in the initial Hamas attack. Israel's military has raised the number of remaining hostages in Gaza to 222 people, including foreigners believed captured by Hamas during the incursion. Four hostages have been released so far.

U.S. and other officials fear the fighting could spill over into a wider regional conflict.

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