At least 19 people were killed in an Israeli air strike on a house near a hospital in north Gaza’s Jabalia refugee camp on Wednesday, according to the enclave’s interior ministry. This occurred as thousands of civilians fled southward to avoid the intense Israeli-Hamas ground fighting. There has been no immediate Israeli comment or details from the scene of the reported attack, which would be the third on Gaza’s largest refugee camp in a week. The war between Hamas and Israel has entered its second month. Israeli air strikes have caused significant damage to Jabalia, with Palestinian authorities reporting at least 195 civilian deaths. Israel claims that its air attacks on Jabalia last week targeted operational tunnels dug beneath civilian districts and killed two Hamas commanders and several militants. These air strikes have raised international concerns about the humanitarian toll of Israel’s onslaught in the densely populated Gaza Strip. Israel has accused Hamas of using Gazans as human shields and hiding arms and operations centers in residential areas. Earlier on Wednesday, thousands of Palestinian civilians evacuated the north during a four-hour window of opportunity announced by Israel. The Israeli military has repeatedly urged residents to leave the north to avoid being trapped in the violence. However, the central and southern parts of Gaza also came under fire. Palestinian health officials reported that an air strike in the Nusseirat refugee camp killed 18 people, while six people, including a young girl, were killed in an air strike in Khan Younis. Witnesses described the destruction caused by the air strikes, with entire blocks of houses being blown up. The Israeli military stated that its forces had advanced into the heart of Gaza City, while Hamas claimed to have inflicted heavy losses on Israeli fighters. The conflict between Israel and Hamas began after a cross-border raid by Hamas on southern Israel, which resulted in the deaths of 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and the capture of around 240 hostages. Palestinian officials have reported that 10,569 people have been killed, with 40% of them being children. The level of death and suffering in Gaza is causing international concern, with appeals for a humanitarian pause in the war to alleviate the suffering of civilians. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres emphasized the importance of Israel understanding the negative impact of the humanitarian crisis on its global public opinion. Negotiations mediated by Qatar are underway to secure the release of hostages in exchange for a temporary pause in the fighting. Thousands of Palestinians have been forced to flee their homes in the north, seeking refuge in the south. The situation in Gaza is dire, with limited access to food and water, and essential supplies running out. Israel’s objective is to eliminate Hamas, using air, land, and sea attacks, while ground troops engage in fierce urban fighting. The claims made by both sides regarding the battlefield situation cannot be independently verified.
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