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One month on, Israel's deadliest Gaza war set to intensify

JERUSALEM, Unidentified — Israel's deadliest ever war in Gaza, sparked by the October 7 Hamas attacks, entered its second month Tuesday as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed there would be no ceasefire until the militant group releases its 240 hostages.

Netanyahu also said Israel would assume "overall security" in Gaza after the war ends, while allowing for possible "tactical pauses" before then to free captives and deliver aid to the besieged territory of 2.4 million people.

The Gaza death toll has soared above 10,000, mostly civilians, said the Hamas-run health ministry, as UN rights chief Volker Turk decried a month of "carnage, of incessant suffering, bloodshed, destruction, outrage and despair."

Israel has vowed to destroy the Islamist militants over their unprecedented attack which claimed 1,400 lives in Israel, including entire families slain inside their homes and young people killed at a music festival, according to Israeli officials.

Orit Meir's 21-year-old son Almog was at the festival near Gaza and apart from a brief Hamas-posted video of hostages showing him since then -- the family has had no updates.

"Our life became a nightmare but this nightmare is our reality," she told reporters at an event in Athens focused on bringing the hostages home.

Since the attack, Israel has relentlessly hammered targets in Gaza with more than 12,000 air and artillery strikes and sent in ground forces that have effectively cut the strip in half, with soldiers and tanks tightening the encirclement of Gaza City.

The Israeli army said that in the latest battles its "troops secured a military stronghold belonging to the Hamas terrorist organisation in the northern Gaza Strip. Anti-tank missiles and launchers, weapons and various intelligence materials were located in the compound by the troops."  

The suffering in Gaza has been immense, with entire city blocks levelled and bodies in white shrouds piling up outside hospitals where surgeons have had to operate on bloodied floors by the light of their phones.

"These are massacres," said one bereaved Gaza resident, Mahmud Meshmesh, in Deir al-Balah in central Gaza, looking at the devastation of yet another strike that