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Israel appears to have launched its most intense attack on Gaza so far.

Israel’s military has said “ground troops” have begun attacking in the Gaza strip after days of airstrikes, prompting fears of a ground invasion.




An explosion lights the sky following an Israeli air strike on Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip on Friday.

An explosion lights the sky following an Israeli air strike on Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip on Friday. Photograph: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images

“[Israel defence forces] air and ground troops are currently attacking in the Gaza strip,” the military said in a statement just after midnight local time, without providing further details.

Shortly afterwards, in an apparent reference to the operation, prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted: “The last word was not said and this operation will continue as long as necessary.”

Hazem Balousha, a journalist in Gaza city, said residents heard intense bombardments and attacks to the north of the strip since just after midnight.

“It lasted half an hour,” he said. “Very loud; buildings were shaking. My building was really shaking.”

We have rolling coverage of that worsening conflict here:

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Berejiklian says Gareth Ward has ‘done the right thing’ stepping aside

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The federal government tried to stop the publication of an academic paper that found it needed to drastically increase its spending on threatened Australian wildlife.

Internal documents released to Guardian Australia under freedom of information show senior officials in the federal environment department spent months pressuring scientists from the government-funded Threatened Species Recovery Hub.




Australia’s northern quoll is classified as endangered.

Australia’s northern quoll is classified as endangered.

The scientists had drafted a paper in 2019 that compared Australian threatened species funding with that in the US. They found Australia was spending just a tenth of what the US dedicated to trying to recover endangered wildlife.

The documents show that before a meeting with two of the hub’s scientists at the University of Melbourne, the department drew up options, including “don’t publish the paper” or remove references to the government program.

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This content first appear on the guardian

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