DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli warplanes struck a refugee camp within the Gaza Strip early Sunday, killing no less than 40 folks and wounding dozens, well being officers stated. The strike got here as Israel stated it could press on with its offensive to crush the territory’s Hamas rulers, regardless of U.S. appeals for a pause to get help to determined civilians.
Israel has rejected the concept of halting its offensive, even for temporary humanitarian pauses proposed by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken throughout his present tour of the area. Gaza’s Well being Ministry stated greater than 9,700 Palestinians have been killed within the territory in practically a month of struggle, and that quantity is more likely to rise as Israeli troops advance into dense, city neighborhoods.
Airstrikes hit the Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza in a single day, killing no less than 40 folks and wounding 34 others, the Well being Ministry stated. It stated first responders and residents had been nonetheless digging via the rubble, hoping to seek out survivors.
An Related Press reporter at a close-by hospital noticed eight lifeless kids, together with a child, who had been introduced in after the strike. A surviving baby was led down the hospital hall by an grownup holding her hand, her garments caked in mud, an expression of shock on her face.
Arafat Abu Mashaia, who lives within the camp, stated the Israeli airstrike flattened a number of multi-story houses the place folks compelled out of different elements of Gaza had been sheltering.
“It was a real bloodbath,” he stated early Sunday whereas standing on the wreckage of destroyed houses. “All listed here are peaceable folks. I problem anybody who says there have been resistance (fighters) right here.”
There was no rapid remark from the Israeli army.
The camp, a built-up residential space, is situated within the evacuation zone the place Israel’s army had urged Palestinian civilians in Gaza to hunt refuge because it focuses its army offensive on the north.
Regardless of such appeals, Israel has continued its bombardment throughout Gaza, saying it’s concentrating on Hamas fighters and belongings all over the place and accusing it of utilizing civilians as human shields. Critics say Israel’s strikes are sometimes disproportionate, contemplating the big variety of ladies and kids killed.
Blinken met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas within the occupied West Financial institution on Sunday, a day after assembly with Arab overseas ministers in neighboring Jordan.
Abbas, who has had no authority in Gaza since Hamas took over in 2007, stated the Palestinian Authority would solely assume management of Gaza as a part of a “complete political answer” establishing an unbiased state that will additionally take within the West Financial institution and east Jerusalem, lands Israel seized within the 1967 struggle.
His remarks appeared to additional slender the already slim choices for who would govern Gaza if Israel succeeds in toppling Hamas. The final peace talks with Israel broke down greater than a decade in the past, and Israel’s authorities is dominated by opponents of Palestinian statehood.
Blinken had met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, who insisted there could possibly be no short-term cease-fire till all hostages held by Hamas are launched.
Arab leaders have referred to as for a right away cease-fire. However Blinken stated that “would merely depart Hamas in place, capable of regroup and repeat what it did on Oct. 7,” when the group launched a wide-ranging assault from Gaza into southern Israel, triggering the struggle.
He stated humanitarian pauses could possibly be crucial in defending civilians, getting help in and getting overseas nationals out, “whereas nonetheless enabling Israel to realize its goal, the defeat of Hamas.”
Swaths of residential neighborhoods in northern Gaza have been leveled in airstrikes. The U.N. Workplace for Humanitarian Affairs says greater than half the remaining residents, estimated at round 300,000, are sheltering in U.N.-run amenities. However lethal Israeli strikes have additionally repeatedly hit and broken these shelters.
Israeli planes as soon as once more dropped leaflets urging folks to move south throughout a four-hour window on Sunday. Crowds of individuals could possibly be seen strolling down Gaza’s major north-south freeway on foot with solely what they might carry of their arms, whereas others led donkey carts.
An Israeli airstrike in a single day struck a water effectively in Tal al-Zatar in northern Gaza, chopping off water for tens of 1000’s of individuals, the Hamas-run municipality within the city of Beit Lahia stated in a press release early Sunday.
The U.N. stated about 1.5 million folks in Gaza, or 70% of the inhabitants, have fled their houses. Meals, water and the gas wanted for mills that energy hospitals and different amenities is operating out.
The struggle has stoked tensions throughout the area, with Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group repeatedly buying and selling fireplace alongside the border.
Within the occupied West Financial institution, no less than two Palestinians had been shot lifeless throughout an Israeli arrest raid in Abu Dis, simply exterior of Jerusalem, in line with the Palestinian Well being Ministry. The army stated a militant who had arrange an armed cell and fired at Israeli forces was killed throughout the raid.
Not less than 150 Palestinians have been killed within the West Financial institution for the reason that begin of the struggle, primarily throughout violent protests and gun battles throughout arrest raids.
1000’s of Israelis protested exterior Netanyahu’s official residence in Jerusalem on Saturday, urging him to resign and calling for the return of roughly 240 hostages held by Hamas. Netanyahu has refused to take duty for the Oct. 7 assault in southern Israel that killed greater than 1,400 folks. Ongoing Palestinian rocket fireplace has compelled tens of 1000’s of individuals in Israel to evacuate their houses.
In one other reflection of widespread anger in Israel, a junior authorities minister, Amihai Eliyahu, advised in a radio interview Sunday that Israel might drop an atomic bomb on Gaza. He later walked again the remarks, saying they had been “metaphorical.” Netanyahu issued a press release saying the minister’s feedback had been “not based mostly in actuality” and that Israel would proceed to attempt to keep away from harming civilians.
Among the many Palestinians killed in Gaza are greater than 4,800 kids, the Gaza Well being Ministry stated, with out offering a breakdown of civilians and fighters.
The Israeli army stated 29 of its troopers have died throughout the floor operation.
Jobain reported from Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, and Magdy from Cairo. Related Press author Matthew Lee in Ramallah, West Financial institution, contributed to this report.
Full AP protection at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war