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Israel pushes deeper into Gaza camps

Published : Sunday, 31 December, 2023 at 12:00 AM  Count : 210

GAZA, Dec 30: Israeli tanks pushed deeper into districts in central and southern Gaza overnight under heavy air and artillery fire, residents said, pressing a deadly offensive that has razed much of the enclave and that Israel has said may last months more.
Fighting late on Friday and early Saturday was focused in al-Bureij, Nuseirat and Khan Younis, backed by intensive air strikes that filled hospitals with injured Palestinians.
The bombardment has killed 100 Palestinians and injured 150 in the central Gaza Strip over the past 24 hours, a senior health official in central Gaza said.
At Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, the biggest and most important medical facility in the south of the tiny, crowded enclave, Red Crescent images posted online showed ambulances operating amid smashed streets, carrying injured children.
Almost all of Gazas 2.3 million residents have been forced from their homes by Israels withering 12-week assault, triggered by the Hamas attack on Oct 7 that killed 1,200 people and brought 240 hostages into the groups grasp.
The offensive has killed at least 21,500 Palestinians, according to health authorities in Hamas-run Gaza, and the conflict risks spreading across the region, drawing in Iran-aligned groups in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Yemen.
Bombardment has smashed houses, apartment blocks and businesses and put hospitals out of action. On Saturday the Palestinian Culture Ministry said Israeli strikes had struck a medieval bathhouse. The old Great Mosque was hit earlier in the war.
Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said on Friday troops were reaching Hamas command centres and arms depots and pictures the military released showed soldiers moving across churned-up earth among ruins of destroyed buildings.
The Israeli military said it had destroyed a tunnel complex in the basement of one of the houses of the Hamas leader for Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, in Gaza City.
The US has called for Israel to scale down the war in coming weeks and move to targeted operations against Hamas leaders, although so far it shows no sign of doing so.
Israel said on Friday it had facilitated the entry of vaccines into Gaza in coordination with UNICEF, the United Nations childrens agency, to help prevent the spread of disease.
The little aid reaching the enclave since the start of the war, when Israel imposed a near total blockade on all food, medicine and fuel, has come across the border with Egypt.    —REUTERS

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