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Israeli strike kills 16 in southern Gaza; no phrase on whether or not medicines reached hostages

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RAFAH, Gaza Strip — An Israeli airstrike on a house killed 16 folks, half of them youngsters, within the southern Gaza city of Rafah, medics mentioned early Thursday. The navy continued to strike targets in areas of the besieged territory the place it has advised civilians to hunt refuge.

There was in the meantime no phrase on whether or not medicines that entered the territory Wednesday as a part of a deal brokered by France and Qatar had been distributed to dozens hostages with persistent diseases who’re being held by Hamas.

Greater than 100 days after Hamas triggered the battle with its Oct. 7 assault, Israel continues to wage one of many deadliest and most damaging navy campaigns in current historical past, with the objective of dismantling the militant group that has dominated Gaza since 2007 and returning scores of captives. The battle has stoked tensions throughout the area, threatening to ignite different conflicts.

Greater than 24,000 Palestinians have been killed, some 85% of the slender coastal territory’s 2.3 million folks have fled their houses, and the United Nations says 1 / 4 of the inhabitants is ravenous.

A whole lot of 1000’s have heeded Israeli evacuation orders and packed into southern Gaza, the place shelters run by the United Nations are overflowing and big tent camps have gone up. However Israel has continued to strike what it says are militant targets in all components of Gaza, usually killing girls and youngsters.

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Dr. Talat Barhoum at Rafah’s el-Najjar Hospital confirmed the demise toll from the strike in Rafah and mentioned dozens extra had been wounded. Related Press footage from the hospital confirmed family weeping over the our bodies of family members.

“They had been affected by starvation, they had been dying from starvation, and now they’ve additionally been hit,” mentioned Mahmoud Qassim, a relative of a few of those that had been killed.

Web and cellular companies in Gaza have been down for 5 days, the longest of a number of outages through the battle, in accordance with web entry advocacy group NetBlocks. The outages complicate rescue efforts and make it troublesome to acquire details about the newest strikes and casualties.

The battle has rippled throughout the Center East, with Iran-backed teams attacking U.S. and Israeli targets. Low-intensity combating between Israel and Hezbollah militants in Lebanon threatens to erupt into all-out battle, and Houthi rebels in Yemen proceed to focus on worldwide delivery regardless of United States-led airstrikes.

Iran has launched a sequence of missile assaults focusing on what it described as an Israeli spy base in Iraq and militant bases in Syria in addition to in Pakistan, which carried out reprisal strikes in opposition to what it described as militant hideouts in Iran early Thursday.

It was not clear if the strikes in Syria and Pakistan had been associated to the Gaza battle. However they showcased Iran’s potential to hold out long-range missile assaults at a time of heightened tensions with Israel and the U.S., which has offered essential help for the Gaza offensive and carried out its personal strikes in opposition to Iran-allied teams in Syria and Iraq.

Israel has vowed to dismantle Hamas to make sure it might by no means repeat an assault just like the one on Oct. 7. Militants burst via Israel’s border defenses and stormed via a number of communities that day, killing some 1,200 folks, largely civilians, and taking round 250 hostage.

Israel has additionally vowed to return all of the hostages remaining in captivity after greater than 100 — largely girls and youngsters — had been launched throughout a November cease-fire in change for the discharge of scores of Palestinians imprisoned by Israel.

Relations and supporters had been marking the primary birthday of Kfir Bibas, the youngest Israeli hostage, in a somber ceremony Thursday in Tel Aviv.

The red-haired toddler and his 4-year-old brother Ariel had been captured together with their mom, Shiri, and their father, Yarden. All 4 stay in captivity.

The settlement to ship in medicines was the primary to be brokered between the warring sides since November. Hamas mentioned that for each field of drugs certain for the hostages, 1,000 could be despatched for Palestinian civilians, along with meals and humanitarian support.

Qatar confirmed late Wednesday that the drugs had entered Gaza, however it was not but clear if it had been distributed to the hostages, who’re being held in secret places, together with underground bunkers.

Hamas has continued to combat again throughout Gaza, even in probably the most devastated areas, and launch rockets into Israel. It says it won’t launch any extra hostages till there’s a everlasting cease-fire, one thing Israel and the USA, its prime ally, have dominated out.

Gaza’s Well being Ministry says a minimum of 24,448 Palestinians have been killed because the begin of the battle, with over 60,000 wounded. It says many different {dead} and wounded are trapped beneath rubble or unreachable due to the combating. The ministry doesn’t differentiate between civilian and combatant deaths however says round two-thirds of these killed had been girls and youngsters.

Israel blames the excessive civilian demise toll on Hamas as a result of it fights in dense residential areas. Israel says its forces have killed roughly 9,000 militants, with out offering proof, and that 193 of its personal troopers have been killed because the Gaza floor offensive started.

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Mroue reported from Beirut.

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Discover extra of AP’s protection at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war



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