June 13, 2024

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Israel strikes Gaza refugee camp as Antony Blinken travels to West Bank

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Israeli forces launched an air strike on a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip that Palestinian officials said killed dozens of people as the US and Israel rejected calls from Arab leaders for a ceasefire in the war.

The strike late on Saturday came as US secretary of state Antony Blinken’s regional tour has exposed deep divisions between Arab capitals and Washington over the war in Gaza, which has now entered its fifth week.

Israel began an aerial bombardment of the enclave after Hamas fighters launched a surprise rampage through southern Israel on October 7, killing 1,400 people and taking more than 240 others hostage, according to Israeli officials.

Gazan health officials say more than 9,488 Palestinians have been killed in the war, which has escalated Israel has sent its forces into the strip with a mission to defeat Hamas.

The Palestinian news agency Wafa said Israeli warplanes attacked the Al-Maghazi refugee camp in Gaza on Saturday night. Ashraf al-Qidri, a spokesperson for the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza, said more than 30 people had been killed in the strike.

Al-Maghazi is in the southern half of Gaza, where IDF had told Palestinian civilians from the north to evacuate for safety.

The IDF did not immediately comment on the reports. In the past, it has said it is targeting Hamas, not civilians, and accuses the Islamist group of using people as human shields.

The Israel Defense Forces have now completely encircled Gaza City, Hamas’s main base, and reported fierce street battles against the group’s militants.

Regional powers have called for an immediate ceasefire, which Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has flatly rejected, saying Israel would only agree to do so if Hamas released all the hostages.

Blinken, too, has said a ceasefire would only benefit Hamas by allowing the organisation to regroup and attack again, and has…

2023-11-05 03:32:46

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