Israel-Hamas war: Israeli airstrikes kill at least 25 in southern Gaza

DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — An Israeli airstrike on a school-turned-shelter in southern Gaza killed at least 25 Palestinians Tuesday, while heavy shelling in the north forced the closure of medical facilities in Gaza City and sent thousands fleeing. They search and run An increasingly elusive refuge.

Israel’s New Ground Attack Its latest effort to fight Hamas militants in Gaza’s largest city has seen widespread destruction in areas the military previously claimed.

Large swathes of Gaza City and its surrounding urban areas have been leveled or left in shambles after nine months of fighting. Most of the people left earlier during the warBut hundreds of thousands of Palestinians remain in the north.

“The fighting is intense,” said Hakim Abdel-Barr, who fled Gaza City’s Tufa district to a relative’s home in another part of the city. He said Israeli warplanes and drones were “hitting anything that moves” and that tanks had moved into central districts.

The strike at the school entrance killed at least 25 people, an Associated Press reporter who counted bodies at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis said. At least seven women and children were among the dead and the death toll could rise, said hospital spokesman Wiem Fares.

Earlier airstrikes in central Gaza killed at least 14 people, including a woman and four children, two hospitals that received the bodies said. Israel has repeatedly struck what it says are militant targets across Gaza since the war began nine months ago.

The military blames civilian deaths on Hamas as militants fight in dense, urban areas, but the military rarely comments on individual strikes, which often kill women and children. The Israeli military said it was looking into reports of airstrikes and civilian casualties near the school, and said the strike targeted a Hamas militant who participated in an October 7 attack on Israel.

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There were no immediate reports of casualties in Gaza City. Injured or trapped relatives called for ambulances, but Israeli operations were unable to reach most of the affected districts with first responders, said Nepal Farzak, a spokesman for the Palestinian Red Crescent.

“It’s a dangerous zone,” he said.

After Israel called for a withdrawal on Monday Staff at two hospitals, Al-Ahli and Patients’ Friends Association hospitals, rushed to move and cover patients from the eastern and central parts of Gaza City, the United Nations said. Farzak said all three medical facilities run by the Red Crescent in Gaza City have been closed.

Many patients were transferred to an Indonesian hospital in northern Gaza A scene of fierce fighting In the previous war. “We don’t know where to go. There is no treatment, no life support,” said Mohammed Abu Nasser, who was being treated there. “We are dying slowly.”

The Israeli military said on Tuesday that hospitals and other medical facilities in Gaza City did not need to leave. But hospitals in Gaza often close and move patients at any sign of Israeli military action, fearing raids.

The Episcopal Church in the Middle East, which runs Al-Ahly, said the hospital was “forced to close by the Israeli military”. Evacuation orders and a wave of nearby drone strikes On Sunday.

In the past nine months, Israeli troops have occupied at least eight hospitals, resulting in the deaths of patients and medical staff and massive destruction of facilities and equipment. Israel has claimed that Hamas uses the hospitals for military purposes, although it has provided limited evidence.

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Only 13 of Gaza’s 36 hospitals are functioning, and only partially so, according to the United Nations humanitarian office.

Israel’s campaign in Gaza, triggered by an October 7 attack by Hamas, killed or wounded more than 5% of Gaza’s 2.3 million Palestinians, according to the territory’s health ministry. Almost the entire population has been displaced from their homes. Many have migrated multiple times. Hundreds of thousands Full of crazy tent camps.

The UN humanitarian office said the evacuation from Gaza City was “dangerous chaos”, with people being advised to leave through neighborhoods where fighting is ongoing.

“People were observed running in multiple directions, not knowing which route was the safest,” the agency said in a statement. The biggest UN in the city. It said the bakery was forced to close and fighting prevented aid teams from entering warehouses.

Maha Mahfooz, a mother of two, said she had escaped twice in the past 24 hours. She first rushed from her home in Gaza City to a relative’s house in another area. When that turned dangerous, he fled Monday night to Shadi, a decades-old refugee camp that has grown into an urban district that has been repeatedly attacked by Israel.

He described massive destruction in areas targeted in recent raids. “Buildings were destroyed. Roads were destroyed. Everything is in ruins,” she said.

The Israeli military says it has received intelligence that fighters from Hamas and the smaller Islamic Jihad group are regrouping in central Gaza City. Israel accuses Hamas and other militants of hiding among civilians. In Shijaya, a suburb of Gaza City, the army said it had destroyed 6 kilometers (3 miles) of tunnels Hamas had been fighting for weeks.

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Hamas issued a warning Recent attacks in Gaza City could lead to a collapse of negotiations Agreement for Armistice and Release of Hostages.

Israel and Hamas emerged Reduce intervals in recent daysWith mediation by the US, Egypt and Qatar.

CIA Director William Burns met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi in Cairo on Tuesday to discuss the talks, el-Sisi’s office said. Further talks are scheduled for Wednesday in Qatar, where Hamas maintains a political office.

The sanctions came after Hamas agreed to its key demand that Israel commit to ending the war as part of any deal. Hamas still wants mediators to guarantee that the talks will end with a permanent ceasefire.

Israel has rejected any deal that would end the war with Hamas outright. Hamas on Monday accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of “placing more obstacles in the negotiations”, including over the Gaza City move.

Israeli officials said an Oct. 7 cross-border attack by Hamas killed 1,200 people in southern Israel, most of them civilians. The militants took around 250 hostages. About 120 people are still being held captive, a third are said to be dead.

Israel’s bombardment and attacks in Gaza have killed more than 38,200 people and injured more than 88,000, according to the region’s health ministry, which did not distinguish between militants and civilians.

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Magdy reported from Cairo.

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Learn more about AP’s coverage https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war

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