Israel-Hamas war: Israeli attack kills 76 in Gaza family

Rafah, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli airstrikes on two homes killed more than 90 Palestinians, including dozens of members of a large family, a day after the UN chief warned again that nowhere in Gaza is safe, rescue workers and hospital officials said Saturday. And Israel's offensive creates “massive obstacles” to the delivery of humanitarian aid.

On Saturday, the Israeli military said it had arrested hundreds of militants in Gaza over the past week and transferred more than 200 of them to Israel for further questioning. A controversial policy Mass Roundups of Palestinian Men. More than 700 people with alleged links to the militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad have so far been sent to Israeli detention centers, the military said.

Israel declared war after Hamas gunmen attacked the border October 7, killing about 1,200 people and taking some 240 hostages. more than 20,000 Palestinians have been killed More than 53,000 people have been injured in Israel's war to oust Hamas, according to health officials, in Gaza, the territory under siege by the Islamist militant group for the past 16 years.

Despite increasing international calls for a ceasefire, Israel remains He promised to continue fighting Until Hamas is destroyed and removed from power in Gaza and all hostages are released. The Biden administration is defending Israel in the diplomatic arena. On Friday, the UN Security Council adopted A diluted resolution Aid deliveries to desperate civilians in Gaza must be expedited immediately, but not for a ceasefire.

The health ministry in Gaza said on Saturday evening that 201 people had died in the past 24 hours.

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On Friday, airstrikes leveled two houses, one in Gaza City and the other in the urban refugee camp of Nusirat in the center of the territory.

The Gaza City attack killed 76 members of the al-Mughrabi family, one of the deadliest of the war, said Mahmoud Bassal, a spokesman for Gaza's civil defense department. He gave the names of 16 family heads in the family, adding that the dead included women and children.

Palestinians carry the bodies of the Thayer family killed in an Israeli bombardment in the Gaza Strip during a funeral in Rafah, Friday, December 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Hatem Ali)

Among those killed were Issam al-Mughrabi, a senior staff member of the UN Development Programme, his wife and their five children.

“The loss of Issam and his family has affected us all deeply. UN And civilians in Gaza are not targets,” said the agency's head, Achim Steiner. “This war must end.”

Later on Friday, a strike leveled the Nusirat home of local television journalist Mohammed Khalifa, killing him and at least 14 others, according to officials at the nearby Al Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, where the bodies were taken. Mourners held funeral rites in the hospital courtyard on Saturday as rescue teams continued to search for survivors. The legs of at least two bodies were found under the collapsed roof.

Israel blames Hamas for many of the civilian deaths, citing the militants' use of crowded residential areas and tunnels. Israel has carried out thousands of airstrikes since October 7 and has largely avoided commenting on specific strikes.

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Israel's attack is the same The most destructive military campaigns in recent historyRoughly 85% of Gaza's 2.3 million people have been displaced, leveling vast swathes of land A small coastal area. More than half a million people in Gaza – a quarter of the population – are starving For a statement This week from the United Nations and other agencies.

Army spokesperson, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said late on Friday that the forces were expanding the ground assault “focusing on the south and expanding to more parts of the region”. He said operations were also continuing in northern Gaza, the initial focus of Israel's ground offensive. The military said it carried out airstrikes against Hamas militants in several parts of Gaza City.

The military report on the detention followed earlier Palestinian reports of a large roundup of teenage boys and men from homes, shelters and hospitals in northern Gaza, where ground forces have established firm control. Some of the released prisoners said they were stripped of their underwear, beaten and held for days with little water.

Hamas has called on the International Committee of the Red Cross and other global organizations to pressure Israeli authorities to reveal the location and conditions of hundreds of people detained in Gaza.

Israel's military has denied allegations of abuse and said those not associated with the militants were quickly released.

Israel says it has killed thousands of Hamas militants, including about 2,000 in the past three weeks, but has not provided evidence. It says 139 soldiers were killed in the ground attack.

It was not immediately clear how and when aid deliveries would be accelerated following the UN resolution. Currently, trucks enter through two crossings – Rafah on the border with Egypt and Kerem Shalom on the border with Israel. On Friday, fewer than 100 trucks entered the crossings, the UN said – well below the daily average of 500 before the war.

Both crossings were closed on Saturday by a mutual agreement between Israel, Egypt and the UN, Israeli officials said.

Ahead of the Security Council vote, the U.S. negotiated to remove language that would have empowered the U.N. to inspect aid going into Gaza, saying Israel must continue to do so to keep it from reaching Hamas.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Friday that measuring the effectiveness of humanitarian action by the number of trucks is a mistake.

“The real problem is that the way Israel is conducting this offensive creates massive obstacles to the delivery of humanitarian aid into Gaza,” he said. He said the prerequisites for an effective aid operation were missing: security, staff capable of working in security, logistical capacity and the resumption of business activities.

Guterres reiterated his long-standing call for a humanitarian ceasefire. He expressed hope that the resolution would help this happen but said “more is urgently needed” to end the “nightmare” for the people of Gaza.

The US succeeded in removing a harsh call for an “urgent end to hostilities” between Israel and Hamas. It did not vote in the referendum, as did Russia, which wanted stronger language.

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Magdy reported from Cairo. Associated Press writer Edith M. Lederer contributed to this report.

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