Israeli strikes pound Gaza Metropolis as floor forces battle Hamas close to main hospital


KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli strikes pounded Gaza Metropolis in a single day into Thursday as floor forces battled Hamas militants in dense city neighborhoods close to a hospital the place tens of 1000’s of Palestinians are sheltering.

Gaza’s largest metropolis is the main target of Israel’s marketing campaign to crush Hamas following its lethal Oct. 7 incursion — and the Israeli navy says Hamas’ principal command middle is situated in and beneath the Shifa Hospital complicated. The militant group and hospital workers deny that declare. Troops had been round 3 kilometers (2 miles) from the hospital, in response to its director.

Amid a drumbeat of worldwide concern over dire circumstances inside Gaza, mediators had been closing in on a potential deal for a three-day cease-fire in change for the discharge of round a dozen hostages held by Hamas, in response to two Egyptian officers, a United Nations official and a Western diplomat.

The deal would additionally enable a small quantity of gasoline to enter the territory, which is at present reliant on mills for electrical energy, for the primary time because the conflict started.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated any non permanent cease-fire must be accompanied by the discharge of hostages. Israel has stated round 240 folks are held captive, and their plight has galvanized Israeli assist for the conflict regardless of rising worldwide issues.

Western and Arab officers gathered in Paris on Thursday to debate methods of offering extra support to civilians in Gaza, a day after the Group of Seven rich democracies, which incorporates shut allies of Israel, referred to as for the “unimpeded” supply of meals, water, medication and gasoline, and for “humanitarian pauses” within the preventing.

The potential cease-fire deal is being brokered by the USA, Egypt and Qatar, a Persian Gulf nation that mediates with Hamas.

A senior U.S. official stated the Biden administration has urged Israel tie the size of a pause to a sure variety of hostages being launched in a components that may very well be used for extra pauses. All of the officers spoke on situation of anonymity for concern of impacting the fragile, ongoing negotiations.

Israeli International Minister Eli Cohen declined to elaborate on any rising deal in an interview with military radio, saying “I’d suggest not speaking about what we’ve agreed to — it hurts the negotiations.”


In the meantime, Israeli floor forces battled close to Gaza’s largest hospital, Shifa, the place folks fleeing the preventing are sheltering alongside sufferers, in response to the hospital’s common director, Mohammed Abu Selmia.

The Israeli navy says the complicated is a Hamas command middle and senior militant leaders are hiding there, utilizing the ability as a protect. Hamas and hospital workers say the navy is making a pretext to strike it.

Scores of wounded folks had been rushed to Shifa in a single day, Abu Selmia informed The Related Press on Thursday. “At daybreak, a shell landed very near the hospital, however thank God only some folks had minor accidents,” he stated.

“The circumstances listed below are disastrous in each sense of the phrase,” he stated. “We’re quick on medication and tools, and the medical doctors and nurses are exhausted. … We’re unable to do a lot for the sufferers.”

Worldwide journalists who entered the north on a tour led by the Israeli navy on Wednesday noticed closely broken buildings, fields of rubble and toppled bushes alongside the Mediterranean shoreline.


The trickle of support getting into Gaza from the south is basically barred from going north, which has been with out operating water for weeks. The U.N. support workplace stated all of the bakeries there have shut down for lack of gasoline, water and flour. Hospitals operating low on provides are performing surgical procedures with out anesthesia.

Greater than two-thirds of Gaza’s inhabitants of two.3 million have fled their properties because the conflict started, with many heeding Israeli orders to flee to the southern a part of the besieged enclave.

However the circumstances there are additionally dire. Israel has continued to strike what it says are militant targets all throughout the territory. New arrivals from the north are squeezing into properties with prolonged household, or into U.N. schools-turned-shelters.

The World Well being Group stated an absence of fresh water and bathing services in shelters throughout Gaza has fueled the unfold of infectious illnesses, together with scabies, lice, chickenpox, pores and skin rash and respiratory sickness. It has logged over 33,000 instances of diarrhea since mid-October — greater than half amongst youngsters beneath 5.


Nonetheless, the exodus from Gaza Metropolis and surrounding areas within the north has accelerated in latest days. The U.N. Workplace for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stated 50,000 folks fled south on Gaza’s principal freeway on Wednesday throughout a every day, hourslong window introduced by the Israeli navy.

There are clashes and shelling close to the highway, and evacuees reported seeing corpses alongside it, the U.N. workplace stated. Most are touring on foot with solely what they’ll carry, many holding youngsters or pushing older kinfolk in carts.

The Hamas-run Inside Ministry, which has urged Palestinians to remain of their properties, has informed media shops to not flow into footage of individuals fleeing.

A month of relentless bombardment in Gaza because the Hamas assault has killed greater than 10,500 Palestinians — two-thirds of them girls and minors, in response to the Well being Ministry within the Hamas-run territory. Greater than 2,300 others are believed to have been buried by strikes that in some instances have demolished whole metropolis blocks.

Israeli officers say 1000’s of Palestinian militants have been killed, and blame civilian deaths on Hamas, accusing it of working in residential areas and utilizing Palestinian civilians as human shields. Gaza’s Well being Ministry doesn’t distinguish between civilians and combatants in its casualty studies.

The occupied West Financial institution has additionally seen a surge in violence, with Israel finishing up frequent arrest raids that always spark gunbattles. Not less than seven Palestinians had been killed Thursday throughout an hourslong raid in Jenin, in response to the Palestinian Well being Ministry. The navy says it has stepped up operations to stop assaults.

Greater than 1,400 folks have died in Israel because the begin of the conflict, most of them civilians killed by Hamas militants throughout their preliminary incursion. Israel says 32 of its troopers have been killed in Gaza because the floor offensive started.

Palestinian militants have continued to fireside rockets into Israel, and a few 250,000 Israelis have been pressured to evacuate from communities close to Gaza and alongside the northern border with Lebanon, the place Israeli forces and Hezbollah militants have traded hearth repeatedly.


Magdy reported from Cairo and Chehayeb from Beirut. Related Press writers Amy Teibel and Isabel DeBre in Jerusalem and Matthew Lee in Washington contributed to this report.


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