KHAN YUNIS, Gaza Strip (AP) – Israel shelled targets in crowded southern Gaza on Saturday and ordered the evacuation of more areas designated for attack, a day after the United States and others stepped up efforts to protect civilians. The number of deaths increased as a result of this effort. The armistice broke down.
Gaza, as Israel summons negotiators and Hamas’s deputy leader says further exchanges between hostages held in Gaza and Palestinians imprisoned by Israel will only take place as part of ending the war. Prospects for a further ceasefire seemed bleak.
Prime Minister: “We intend to continue the war until we have achieved all our goals, but it is impossible to achieve those goals without ground operations.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu He said this in a speech on Saturday night.
At least 200 Palestinians have been killed since the incident. Fighting resumed on Friday morning. The move follows a week-long ceasefire with Hamas, the militant group that controls the Gaza Strip, the Gaza Ministry of Health said. On Saturday, several high-rise residential buildings were hit, leaving the neighborhood in a huge plume of smoke.
Separately, the ministry announced the total number of deaths across the Gaza Strip since fighting began on October 7. war The death toll has exceeded 15,200, a significant increase from more than 13,300 as of November 20th. The ministry did not distinguish between civilian and combatant deaths, but said 70% of the dead were women and children. More than 40,000 people have been injured since the war began.
“Too many innocent Palestinians have been killed. Frankly, the scale of civilian suffering and the images and videos coming from Gaza are devastating,” said U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris. he told reporters. COP28 climate conference In Dubai.
The United States, Israel’s closest ally, appealed for civilian protection after attacks in the first weeks of the war destroyed large areas of northern Gaza. Some 2 million Palestinians, almost the entire population of Gaza, are currently packed into the southern half of the strip.
The Israeli military said it had attacked more than 400 Hamas targets across Gaza in the past day, including more than 50 targets in the southern city of Khan Yunis and surrounding areas.
Mahmoud Bassal, a spokesman for the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, told broadcaster Al Jazeera that there were more than 300 “martyrs” in Gaza’s Shujaiyah area and that their homes had been destroyed. The Israeli military said it had killed the commander of Hamas’s Shujaia battalion, but did not provide details of the operation. Residents could not be contacted.
In northern Gaza, an airstrike destroyed the building where a family lives in the urban refugee camp of Jabaliya, on the outskirts of Gaza City. Residents Hamza Obeid and Amal Radwan said dozens of people were killed or injured in the accident.
“The building was reduced to a pile of rubble,” Obeid said. Associated Press video showed smoke rising as men wearing sandals made their way over the rubble. Israeli forces have acknowledged their presence in Jabaliya and announced that they have discovered and destroyed Hamas tunnels in the surrounding area.
A powerful attack hit a cluster of high-rise buildings in Hamad City, a Qatari-funded housing development on the outskirts of Khan Yunis. Smoke engulfed the complex. There was no immediate word on casualties.
“Where is it safe? I swear to God, no one knows, where are we going?” Zohair al-Raai said his family received a recorded message saying they should evacuate the building. Told.
At least nine people, including three children, were also killed in the attack on a house in Deir al-Balah in the south, according to the hospital where the bodies were taken.
Meanwhile, Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip announced that they had fired a barrage of rockets into southern Israel. Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said Hamas has launched more than 250 since the end of the ceasefire. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
During a visit to Israel and Ramallah in the West Bank on Saturday, the International Criminal Court prosecutor said his office was seriously pursuing an investigation into alleged war crimes on both sides.
“There is no doubt that all actors must now comply with the law,” Karim Khan told broadcaster Palestine Television. “If you don’t obey the law now, don’t complain later.”
As fighting resumed, the Israeli military published an online map that divided the Gaza Strip into hundreds of numbered sections and asked residents to know the number of their location before issuing an evacuation warning.
On Saturday, the military listed more than 20 parcels around Gaza City and east of Khan Yunis. Separately, flyers with evacuation orders were distributed in the town east of Khan Yunis.
One resident of Khan Younis said his neighbors received a call from Israeli forces warning them that homes in the area would be attacked. “We told them, ‘There’s nothing here, so why are you knocking on it?'” said resident Hikmat al-Qidra.
The maps and leaflets caused panic and confusion in the crowded south. There, people cannot travel to northern Gaza or neighboring Egypt and are forced to move within a 220 square kilometer (85 square mile) area.
“I have nowhere to go,” said Emad Hajar, who took refuge in Khan Yunis a month ago. “They are expelled us from the northAnd now they are forcing us to leave the South. ”
Mark Regev, a senior adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said Israel was making “maximum efforts” to protect civilians and that the military was using leaflets, telephone calls, radio and television broadcasts to target Gazans in specific areas. He added that Israel is considering it. The idea is to create a security buffer zone where Gazans cannot directly access the border fence on foot.
Israel claims to be targeting Hamas operative He blamed armed groups for civilian casualties and accused them of operating in residential areas. It claims, without providing evidence, that it has killed thousands of militants. Israel says 77 soldiers were killed in an attack in northern Gaza.
Also on Saturday, the Palestinian Red Crescent said it had received the first convoy of aid trucks to cross the Rafah border with Egypt since fighting resumed. Palestinian Border Authority spokesman Wael Abu Omar said 100 trucks had entered, three of them carrying 150,000 liters (about 40,000 gallons) of fuel.
Meanwhile, Mr. Harris told Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi: In a meeting The U.S. summary states that “under no circumstances” will the United States allow the forced relocation of Palestinians from Gaza or the West Bank, the continued siege of Gaza, or the redrawing of borders.
new hostility arose Concerns over 137 hostagesIsraeli military says 105 people remain detained after being released Truce in progress. A 70-year-old woman held in Hamas custody was pronounced dead on Saturday, the kibbutz said. She is the eighth hostage confirmed dead.
At a rally of tens of thousands of people in Tel Aviv, freed hostages called for the rest to be released. “I want to see them now, not in the coffin,” Jaffa Adal, 85, said in a video address, specifically addressing children who have been detained.
Hamas and Israel disagreed over who was still being held.
Hamas deputy leader Saleh Allouri told Al Jazeera that the remaining hostages are men who served in the Israeli army. This comes as Osama Hamdan, another senior Hamas official, told The Associated Press on Friday that Hamas is willing to exchange more hostages, but that Israeli demands for the release of 10 female soldiers He said he refused.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant said Hamas had violated the ceasefire agreement by refusing to return two children and 15 women.
During the armistice, Israel releases 240 Palestinians. Most of those released by both sides were women and children.
Mrou reported from Beirut and Anna from New York. Associated Press writers Julia Frankel, Iris Samuels and Nebi Kenna in Jerusalem contributed to this report.
Full coverage of AP is https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war