June 21, 2024

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Gaza endures heaviest bombardment since start of war

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Gazans have endured their heaviest night of Israeli bombardment from air, land and sea since the start of the war three weeks ago.

The overnight attacks have led to hundreds of deaths and the destruction of many buildings, according to officials in Gaza. A communications blackout imposed by Israel cut off landlines, mobiles and the internet, hampering the evacuation of the wounded, with the ambulance service unreachable, health officials said.

Many people are still under the rubble of their homes, according to the civil defence authorities.

On Saturday the Hamas-controlled health ministry said the death toll in the territory since the start of the Israeli offensive three weeks ago had risen to 7,650, with 377 people killed since Friday. It accused Israel of committing “53 massacres”, meaning there were attacks on the homes of 53 families.

More than 1,400 people were killed in Israel by Hamas militants in the cross-border raid on October 7 which started the hostilities, according to the Israeli government, with 222 more being held hostage in Gaza.

Drone footage broadcast on Al Jazeera television on Saturday showed flattened buildings in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis and a collapsed home where the television channel said 18 members of the same family had been killed. People were shown working with their hands to pull out a survivor.

Abu Mohamed Baraka, in the Rimal area of Gaza City, said: “The bodies of martyrs and injured people were on the street with no ambulances to move them. Some car owners volunteered to take them to hospitals. The ambulance arrived after two hours.”

On the western side of the city in the Shati refugee camp, which was heavily targeted by the Israelis, Jehad Mahdy described the attacks as “a horror movie”.

“There were no communications and no internet,” he said. “We returned to the stone age. You…

2023-10-28 09:27:10

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