July 16, 2024

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Israel pounds targets in southern Gaza as militants fire rockets across the border

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Israeli forces battered targets in densely populated southern Gaza on the second morning of renewed fighting with Palestinian militants on Saturday after a truce broke down.

The latest round of hostilities has killed at least 178 people in Gaza, Palestinian health officials said on Friday night, ending a weeklong pause during which both sides released women and children and aid convoys entered the besieged enclave. 

Israel’s military said it had hit multiple “terror targets” in northern Gaza, including a mosque being used as a command centre by militants. It added that its jets “struck over 50 targets in the area of Khan Younis” in southern Gaza overnight. The south is packed with civilians who had fled the intense fighting between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian militants in the strip’s north, where about half the buildings have been damaged.

Israel Defense Forces had sent text messages and dropped leaflets on Friday telling people in areas east of Khan Younis to leave for Rafah, near Gaza’s border with Egypt.

However “no major displacement from these areas has been reported”, said the UN’s humanitarian co-ordination office on Friday evening, while Rafah was hit by at least one Israeli air strike on Friday morning.

The UN added that an online map published by the IDF, which divides Gaza into pockets of land to explain where civilians should leave, “does not specify where people should evacuate to”.

On Saturday morning, sirens sounded across Israeli communities near Gaza, the IDF said, after Palestinian militant groups restarted rocket launches across the border.

The families of hostages have vowed to keep pressing for their release, with one relative calling the truce’s end on Friday “a huge disappointment”. The IDF has notified the families of seven people killed in captivity in Gaza.

Hamas kidnapped 240 people…

2023-12-02 05:30:39

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