Top US diplomat tours Arab states in effort to avoid wider war over expected Israeli invasion of Gaza Strip

Israel and Hamas at war – live updates

The US’s most senior diplomat has urged Israel to take every possible precaution to avoid civilian casualties in Gaza as he called for the establishment in the territory of safe zones where shelter, food, water and medical supplies can be provided.

“We have urged the Israelis to use every possible precaution to avoid harm to civilians,” the secretary of state, Antony Blinken, said. “We recognise many Palestinian families in Gaza are suffering through no fault of their own and that Palestinian civilians have lost their lives.”

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