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Israeli airstrikes kill at least 24 in Gaza City, say Gaza officials

WorldIsraeli airstrikes kill at least 24 in Gaza City, say Gaza officials

Early on Tuesday, Israeli forces launched three airstrikes on Gaza City, resulting in the deaths of at least 24 Palestinians, including a sister of Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh, according to Gaza health officials and medics.

Key Developments:

  • Airstrikes on Gaza City: Two Israeli airstrikes targeted schools in Gaza City, killing at least 14 people. Another strike on a house in the Shati refugee camp killed 10 others. The house belonged to the extended family of Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh.
  • Israeli Military Operations: The Israeli military stated that the targets were militants involved in planning attacks on Israel, including those holding hostages. The military reported strikes on structures used by Hamas terrorists in Shati and Daraj Tuffah, accusing Hamas of using school compounds as shields.
  • Hamas Response: Hamas denied using civilian facilities for military purposes and condemned the attacks as “massacres.” The group blamed the U.S. administration for supporting Israel’s actions.
  • Ground Invasion: Israeli tanks moved deeper into western Rafah, destroying homes, according to residents. Mortar bombs were fired by Hamas and Islamic Jihad fighters at Israeli forces in Rafah.

Broader Conflict:

  • Hezbollah Escalation: With fighting against Hamas expected to decrease soon, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to reallocate forces to the northern border with Lebanon, where clashes with Hezbollah have intensified.
  • Humanitarian Impact: Gaza’s health ministry reported severe shortages of medicines and medical supplies due to the ongoing conflict, affecting hospitals and medical centers across the enclave.

Historical Context:

  • Conflict Origins: The Israeli offensive began in response to a Hamas-led attack on October 7, which resulted in 1,200 Israeli deaths and over 250 hostages taken.
  • Casualties and Damage: The retaliatory Israeli campaign has claimed nearly 37,600 lives in Gaza, according to Palestinian health authorities, and caused extensive destruction in the densely populated region.

Upcoming Events:

  • International Mediation: Efforts to mediate a ceasefire, supported by the United States, have yet to succeed. Hamas insists any agreement must end the war, while Israel seeks only temporary pauses until Hamas is dismantled.
  • Diplomatic Efforts: Israel’s national security adviser indicated a preference for resolving the conflict with Hezbollah diplomatically in the coming weeks.

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