Israel kills more than 80 Palestinians in refugee camp strikes — Gaza

A wounded Palestinian child is removed from the rubble after Israeli attacks on the apartment belonging to the Ashur family in Khan Yunis, Gaza on November 18, 2023. (Photo/AA)

A Palestinian health official in besieged Gaza has said more than 80 Palestinians were killed in twin strikes on a northern Gaza refugee camp, including a UN school used as a shelter for people displaced by the Israel's war on the tiny enclave.

"At least 50 people" were killed in a dawn strike on the UN-run Al Fakhura school in the camp, which has been converted into a shelter for displaced Palestinians, a health ministry official in Gaza told AFP.

UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths denounced the "tragic news of the children, women and men killed".

"Shelters are a place for safety," he posted on X, formerly Twitter. "Civilians cannot and should not have to bear this any longer."

Egypt called the bombing of the UN-run school a "war crime" and "a deliberate insult to the United Nations".

A separate strike on Saturday on another building in Jabalia camp killed 32 people from the same family, 19 of them children, the official said.

The Israeli army did not specifically comment on the strikes but said its troops were expanding invasion in Gaza, including in parts of Jabalia. A spokesperson for Hamas authorities said 200 people had been killed or wounded.

Social media videos verified by the AFP news agency showed bodies covered in blood and dust on the floor of a building, where mattresses had been wedged under school tables in Jabalia, the Palestinian territory's biggest refugee camp.

The army's relentless air and ground campaign has since killed 12,300 people, more than 5,000 of them children, according to the Hamas government which has governed Gaza since 2007.

According to UN figures, some 1.6 million people have been displaced inside Gaza by six weeks of Israeli invasion.

Israel bombing safe zones

Israel has ordered Palestinians to move from north Gaza "for their safety," but has conducted deadly air strikes to hit central and southern areas of the coastal enclave.

Hamas's senior representative in Lebanon, Osama Hamdan, said 43 percent of Gaza's war dead were killed in southern districts. "The occupation [Israel] does not differentiate between north and south," he said.

On Saturday, hundreds of people fled on foot after the director of Gaza's main hospital said the Israeli army ordered everyone in the facility, where some 2,000 people were trapped, to flee.

Columns of sick and wounded — some of them amputees — were seen making their way out of Al Shifa Hospital towards the seafront without ambulances along with displaced people, doctors and nurses, as loud explosions were heard around the complex.

On the way, an AFP journalist saw at least 15 bodies, some in advanced stages of decomposition, along a road lined by heavily damaged shops and overturned vehicles.

The Health Ministry said 120 wounded, along with an unspecified number of premature babies, were still at Al Shifa Hospital.

'Patients cannot leave'

In Gaza City, Israeli troops had called over loudspeakers to empty Al-Shifa "in the next hour", an AFP journalist at the hospital reported.

They also called the hospital's director, Mohammed Abu Salmiya, telling him to ensure "the evacuation of patients, wounded, the displaced and medical staff", he said.

According to Ahmed El Mokhallalati, a doctor at the hospital, "most of the medical staff and patients had left" but he was staying at Al Shifa along with five other doctors.

"Many patients cannot leave the hospital as they are in the ICU beds or the baby incubators," Mokhallalati said on X.

Israel has imposed a siege on Gaza, allowing just a trickle of aid in from Egypt but barring most shipments of fuel in a collective punishment for Gaza residents.

More than half of Gaza's hospitals are no longer functional due to combat, damage or shortages, and people are waiting four to six hours for half the normal ration of bread.

A strike on a residential building in southern Gaza killed 26 people, the director of the Nasser hospital in Khan Yunis said.

"I was asleep and we were surprised by the strike. At least 20 bombs were dropped," Imed al-Mubasher, 45, told AFP.


Source: TRT