Fri. Apr 12th, 2024

KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip — Israeli airstrikes pounded places throughout the Gaza Strip early Thursday, together with components of the south that Israel had declared secure zones, heightening fears amongst greater than 2 million Palestinians trapped within the territory that nowhere was secure.

Within the almost two weeks since Israel started attacking in response to a devastating Hamas rampage in cities throughout southern Israel, airstrikes have relentlessly hit the densely populated territory. Even after Israel informed Palestinians to evacuate the north and head to what it referred to as “secure zones” within the south, strikes continued throughout the whole territory.

The bombardments got here after Israel agreed Wednesday to permit Egypt to ship restricted humanitarian help to Gaza, the primary crack in a punishing 11-day siege. Many amongst Gaza’s 2.3 million residents have minimize down to at least one meal a day and have been left to drink soiled water amid dwindling provides.

The announcement of a plan to deliver water, meals and different provides into Gaza occurred as fury over the blast at Gaza Metropolis’s al-Ahli Hospital unfold throughout the Center East, and as U.S. President Joe Biden visited Israel in hopes of stopping a wider battle within the area.

There have been conflicting claims of who was behind the lethal hospital explosion. Hamas officers in Gaza blamed an Israeli airstrike, saying a whole lot have been killed. Israel denied it was concerned and launched a flurry of video, audio and different data that it mentioned confirmed the blast was as an alternative as a consequence of a rocket misfire by Islamic Jihad, one other militant group working in Gaza. Islamic Jihad dismissed that declare.

The Related Press has not independently verified any of the claims or proof.

Video from the scene confirmed the hospital grounds strewn with torn our bodies, a lot of them younger youngsters. A whole bunch of wounded have been rushed to Gaza Metropolis’s most important hospital the place medical doctors, already dealing with important provide shortages, have been generally pressured to carry out surgical procedure on the flooring, usually with out anesthesia.

Greater than 1 million Palestinians have fled their houses, roughly half of Gaza’s inhabitants. Many who fled the north and Gaza Metropolis, after Israel informed them evacuate, have crowded into U.N. faculties or the houses of kin.

Palestinians within the southern metropolis of Khan Younis mentioned bombings have been relentless in a single day, with airstrikes hitting a number of houses, in response to the Hamas-led Inside Ministry. In Rafah, on Egypt’s border, Israel hit a number of houses. Medical employees at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis mentioned they obtained at the least 12 useless and 40 wounded.

Houses alongside the Gaza border with Israel within the northern evacuation zone have been additionally hit, the ministry mentioned. Israel has massed troops within the space and is anticipated to launch a floor invasion into Gaza, although army officers say no resolution has been made.

Airstrikes additionally hit three residential towers in al-Zahra, inside the space that was informed to evacuate, the Inside Ministry in Gaza mentioned.

Israel has mentioned it’s attacking Hamas militants wherever they might be in Gaza and accused the group’s leaders and fighters of taking shelter among the many civilian inhabitants.

The Israeli army mentioned it killed a prime Palestinian militant in Rafah, close to the Egyptian border, and hit a whole lot of targets throughout Gaza, together with tunnel shafts, intelligence infrastructure and command facilities. It mentioned it hit dozens of mortar launching posts, most of them instantly after they launched shells at Israel.

Palestinians have been launching barrages of rockets at Israel because the combating started.

The Gaza Well being Ministry mentioned 3,478 folks have been killed in Gaza because the conflict started, and greater than 12,000 wounded, largely ladies, youngsters and the aged. One other 1,300 individuals are believed buried below the rubble, well being authorities mentioned.

Greater than 1,400 folks in Israel have been killed, largely civilians slain throughout Hamas’ lethal incursion on Oct. 7. Roughly 200 others have been kidnapped. The Israeli army mentioned Thursday it had notified the households of 203 captives.

The strikes throughout Gaza left Palestinians feeling they have been in fixed hazard.

The Musa household fled to the sometimes sleepy central city of Deir al-Balah and took shelter in a cousin’s three-story house close to the native hospital. However at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, a collection of explosions, believed to be airstrikes, rocked the constructing, turning the household house right into a mountain of rubble that they mentioned buried some 20 ladies and youngsters.

The useless physique of Hiam Musa, the sister-in-law of Related Press photojournalist Adel Hana, was recovered from the wreckage Wednesday night, the household mentioned. They don’t know who else is below the rubble.

“It doesn’t make sense,” Hana mentioned. “We went to Deir al-Balah as a result of it’s quiet, we thought we might be secure.”

The Israeli army mentioned it was investigating.

Violence between Israel and Hezbollah militants in Lebanon has additionally flared in current days amid fears the combating might unfold throughout the area. Within the West Financial institution, the place scores of Palestinians have been killed because the conflict began, Israeli forces killed dozens of Palestinians prior to now two days, in response to the Palestinian Well being Ministry.

The deal to get help into Gaza remained fragile.

Biden mentioned Egypt’s president agreed to open the Rafah crossing to let in an preliminary group of 20 vans with humanitarian help. If Hamas confiscates help, “it is going to finish,” he mentioned. The help will begin transferring Friday on the earliest, White Home officers mentioned.

Egypt should nonetheless restore the highway throughout the border, which was cratered by Israeli airstrikes. Greater than 200 vans and a few 3,000 tons of help are positioned at or close to the crossing, Gaza’s solely connection to Egypt, mentioned the top of the Pink Crescent for North Sinai, Khalid Zayed.

Provides will go in below supervision of the U.N., Egyptian International Minister Sameh Shoukry informed Al-Arabiya TV. Requested if foreigners and twin nationals looking for to depart could be let by, he mentioned: “So long as the crossing is working usually and the (crossing) facility has been repaired.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s workplace mentioned the choice was permitted after a request from Biden. It mentioned Israel “is not going to thwart” deliveries of meals, water or drugs from Egypt, so long as they’re restricted to civilians within the south of the Gaza Strip and don’t go to Hamas militants. The assertion made no point out of gas, which is badly wanted for hospital mills.

Relations of a few of the roughly 200 individuals who have been taken hostage and compelled again to Gaza in the course of the assault reacted in fury to the help announcement.

“Kids, infants, ladies, troopers, males, and aged, some with critical sicknesses, wounded and shot, are held underground like animals,” mentioned a press release from the Hostage and Lacking Households Discussion board. However “the Israeli authorities pampers the murderers and kidnappers.”

In his temporary go to, Biden tried to strike a steadiness between displaying U.S. assist for Israel, whereas containing rising alarm amongst Arab allies. He additionally introduced $100 million in humanitarian help for Palestinians in Gaza and the West Financial institution.


Nessman reported from Jerusalem and Kullab from Baghdad. Related Press journalists Amy Teibel and Isabel Debre in Jerusalem; Samy Magdy and Jack Jeffrey in Cairo; and Ashraf Sweilam in el-Arish, Egypt, contributed to this report.

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