Israel kills dozens in air strikes across Gaza

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Israel is continuing its bombardment of Gaza, including strikes on the Al-Maghazi refugee camp.
Israel is continuing its bombardment of Gaza, including strikes on the Al-Maghazi refugee camp.

Israel has sustained its aerial and ground bombardment of the Gaza Strip, killing dozens of Palestinians, as fighting raged around Gaza City’s main Al Shifa hospital, Palestinian officials and the Israeli military said.

Palestinian health officials said two Israeli strikes on the Al-Shejaia suburb in eastern Gaza City on Friday killed 17 people, while an Israeli air strike on a house in the Al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip killed eight people.

Gaza’s Hamas-run government media office said at least 10 policemen, tasked with securing aid to the displaced in northern Gaza, were among those killed in Al-Shejaia.

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An Israeli air strike on a house in the Al-Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza killed eight people. (EPA PHOTO)

The Israeli military said its forces continued operations in around Gaza City’s Al Shifa complex “while mitigating harm to civilians, patients, medical teams, and medical equipment”, adding that over the past day it killed a number of gunmen and located weapons and military infrastructure.

Al Shifa, the Gaza Strip’s biggest hospital before the war, had been one of the few healthcare facilities even partially operational in north Gaza before the latest fighting. It had also been housing displaced civilians.

The Israeli statement said its forces conducted raids in central and southern areas including Khan Younis and Al-Karara, where troops exchanged fire with Palestinian gunmen before they killed them and located weapons and rockets.

The armed wing of Hamas said their fighters targeted Israeli forces near to Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, one of the city’s two hospitals blockaded by Israeli soldiers for several days.

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Much of northern Gaza may be in famine before May, the UN has warned. (AP PHOTO)

In the far south of the Strip, Israel continued its bombardment in Rafah, the Palestinians’ last refuge where over half of Gaza’s 2.3 million people were sheltering. An air strike on a house killed 12 Palestinians late on Thursday. More than 32,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip since October 7, with 71 killed in the last 24 hours, according to health authorities in the territory.

Thousands more dead are believed to be buried under rubble and more than 80 per cent of Gazans have been displaced, many at risk of famine.

The war erupted after Hamas militants broke through the border and rampaged through communities in southern Israel, killing 1200 people and abducting 253 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

In the northern Gaza Strip, where the United Nations has warned famine is imminent as early as May, an elderly man died of malnutrition and lack of medication, Palestinian media said. 

On Thursday, the World Court unanimously ordered Israel to take all necessary and effective action to ensure basic food supplies to Gaza’s population and halt spreading famine.

“The renewed binding order from the @ICJ (International Court of Justice) yesterday is a stark reminder that the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip is man made and worsening. It can however still be reversed,” Philippe Lazzarini, head of the UN Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA, said on X.

“(This) means that Israel must reverse its decision and allow @UNRWA to reach northern Gaza with food and nutrition convoys on a daily basis and to open additional land crossings,” he added. 

Earlier this week, UNRWA said Israel told it that it would no longer approve its food convoys to north Gaza. Four such requests were denied since March 21, it added.

Reuters