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HomenewsIsraeli attack on residential area in south Gaza kills at least 29

Israeli attack on residential area in south Gaza kills at least 29

At least 29 Palestinians have been killed in an Israeli air strike in a residential area of Rafah in southern Gaza, while a hospital was raided in north Gaza and 10 people were killed in an attack on a refugee camp in that part of the enclave.

Tens of thousands of displaced Palestinians have crammed into Rafah on Gaza’s border with Egypt to escape Israeli bombardments further north, despite fears that they will also not be safe there.

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“Three residential buildings in one area were destroyed in the attack,” Al Jazeera’s Hani Mahmoud, reporting from Rafah, said on Tuesday.

The number of casualties was expected to rise as more bodies were pulled from the rubble, under which people were also trapped, he said.

Journalist Adel Zoroub was among the 29 killed in the air raid in Rafah, the Government Media Office in Gaza said on its Telegram channel.

Separately, at least 10 Palestinians were killed and many more injured in an Israeli air raid on the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health in the enclave said.

Fierce battles raged in northern Gaza, where Hamas continues to put up stiff resistance across what is now a battered wasteland seven weeks after Israeli tanks and troops stormed in.

Hospital raids

Ashraf al-Qudra, the Ministry of Health spokesperson in Gaza, said on Tuesday that Israeli forces turned al-Awda Hospital in northern Gaza into barracks after detaining more than 240 people.

Those being held included “80 hospital staff, 40 patients, and 120 displaced people, inside the hospital”, he said.

They arrested six of the hospital’s staff, including the director of the facility, Ahmed Muhanna, according to al-Qudra.

Israeli forces also raided the Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City overnight and into Tuesday, according to the church that operates it, destroying a wall at its front entrance and detaining most of its staff.

Don Binder, a pastor at St George’s Anglican Cathedral in occupied East Jerusalem, which runs the hospital, was quoted by The Associated Press news agency as saying that the raid left just two doctors, four nurses and two janitors to tend to more than 100 seriously wounded patients, with no running water or electricity.

“It has been a great mercy for the many wounded in Gaza City that we were able to keep our Ahli Anglican Hospital open for so long,” Binder wrote in a Facebook post late Monday. “That ended today.”

He said an Israeli tank was parked on the rubble at the hospital’s entrance, blocking anyone from entering or leaving.

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There was no immediate comment from the Israeli military, which has kept targeting and raiding healthcare facilities in the enclave.

A World Health Organization (WHO) official said on Monday that the Kamal Adwan hospital in northern Gaza that Israeli troops raided last week had stopped functioning and patients, including babies, have been evacuated.

“We cannot afford to lose any hospitals,” said Richard Peeperkorn, WHO representative for Gaza.

Peeperkorn also said about 4,000 displaced people taking refuge on the grounds of the Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Younis, southern Gaza, were at risk as Israel pursues military operations there.

The Gaza Health Ministry said on Monday that 19,453 Palestinians had been killed and 52,286 wounded in the Israeli assault on the Hamas-ruled enclave in more than two months of warfare.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised to achieve total victory over Hamas, whose fighters killed about 1,140 people and took 240 people captive in a surprise October 7 raid into Israel, according to Israeli tallies.

Israel’s intensifying retaliation against Hamas has created uproar among many governments and international organisations over the civilian death toll, hunger and homelessness.

‘Clear progress’ in talks

Meanwhile, talks for another truce between the sides continue with the mediation efforts led by Qatar amid repeated calls for the end of hostilities by the international community.

Al Jazeera’s Alan Fisher, reporting from occupied East Jerusalem, said there was “clear progress” towards a potential new hostage exchange deal between Israel and Hamas, after Bill Burns, the director of the US Central Intelligence Agency, flew to Warsaw for negotiations with David Barnea, the head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence service and Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani.

However, as Israel points to mid-January as the timetable for the “next stage of the war”, there is the possibility Hamas may decide “just to sit tight” until then “to see how things play out”, Fisher said.

Hamas may wait until then “to give up any of the captives and use them as a bargaining chip when things actually start to change on the ground”, he added.

Israeli Channel 12 television channel reported that Israeli negotiators now face the challenge of convincing the head of Hamas in Gaza to agree to a deal that does not include a truce.

Israel believes that the decision of Hamas to publish videos of Israeli captives is aimed at pushing for negotiations, Channel 12 also quoted a source as saying.

On Monday, Hamas’s armed wing, the Qassam Brigades, posted a one-minute video of three elderly Israeli captives pleading for their immediate release.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies


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