Israel strikes, shelling kill 19 in Gaza amid manoeuvring on ceasefire quest
CAIRO/JERUSALEM: (Reuters) Israeli shelling and airstrikes killed at least 19 people in central and south Gaza on Tuesday including two policemen who were helping protect humanitarian aid deliveries in the southern city of Rafah, Palestinian medics said.

Seventeen of the deaths, they said, occurred in separate Israeli airstrikes on the al-Bureij and al-Maghazi refugee camps and the city of Deir-al-Balah in central Gaza, and by late Tuesday tanks were shelling an area just east of the al-Nusseirat camp, residents said.

Some told Reuters via chat app that the renewed Israeli military push was sowing panic, with some families living in al-Maghazi starting to flee under tank fire, with four shells crashing near a clinic in the camp.

In a brief statement issued earlier in the day, the Israeli military said jets were hitting Hamas militant targets in central Gaza while ground forces were operating "in a focused manner with guidance from intelligence" in the al-Bureij area.

It gave no update on activity in Rafah, into which Israeli forces swept last month in what the military calls a limited operation to root out Hamas’ last intact combat units after almost eight months of devastating war in the Gaza Strip.

US seeks UN backing for proposed Gaza ceasefire deal

The U.S. said on Monday it wants the United Nations Security Council to adopt a resolution backing the proposal outlined by President Joe Biden to end fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

It circulated a one-page draft text, seen by Reuters, to the 15-member council. A resolution needs at least nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the U.S., France, Britain, China or Russia to pass.

The draft calls on Hamas to accept the deal and "fully and implement its terms without delay and without condition." It also "stresses the importance of the parties adhering to the terms of the deal once agreed, with the aim of bringing about a permanent cessation of hostilities."

The U.S. proposal comes a week after Algeria proposed a draft Security Council resolution demanding a Gaza ceasefire, release of all hostages held by Hamas and essentially ordering Israel to "immediately halt its military offensive" in Rafah.

Biden on Friday laid out what he described as a three-phase Israeli proposal for a ceasefire in Gaza in return for the release of Israeli hostages, saying "it’s time for this war to end".