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Israeli forces raze Jabalia with air strikes

Palestinians evacuate Kamal Adwan hospital following an Israeli strike, in the northern Gaza Strip. — Reuters
Palestinians evacuate Kamal Adwan hospital following an Israeli strike, in the northern Gaza Strip. — Reuters

GAZA: Israeli forces thrust deeper into the Jabalia camp in northern Gaza on Tuesday, laying waste to residential districts with tank and air bombardments, residents said, while Israeli air strikes killed at least five people in the southern city of Rafah.

Simultaneous Israeli assaults on the northern and southern edges of the Gaza Strip this month have caused a new exodus of hundreds of thousands of people fleeing their homes, and sharply restricted the flow of aid, raising the risk of famine.

In Jabalia, a sprawling refugee camp built for displaced civilians 75 years ago, the Israeli army used bulldozers to clear shops and property near the local market, residents said, in a military operation that began almost two weeks ago.

The health authorities and Gaza Civil Emergency Service said dozens of bodies were trapped under rubble of houses and on the roads in Jabalia, but were out of reach of rescue teams.

"Israel is destroying the camp on the heads of the people, the bombardment never stops, and the world is calling for more food to enter Gaza. We want to spare lives not extra food," said Abu El Nasser, a resident of Jabalia, who fled to Gaza City.

More than 35,000 Palestinians have been killed in the war in Gaza, which is now in its eighth month, according to the Gaza health ministry. At least 10,000 others are missing and believed to be trapped under destroyed buildings, it says.

The war has devastated the overcrowded coastal enclave, destroying houses, schools and hospitals and creating a dire humanitarian crisis.

Residents and medical officials said Israeli tanks were besieging the Al Awda Hospital in Jabalia for the third day, and officials at Kamal Adwan Hospital in nearby Beit Lahiya said they were evacuating patients after it was hit by Israeli fire.

In the south, air strikes killed three children in a house in Khan Younis and at least five people including three children in a home in Rafah.

East of Khan Younis, residents said they were fleeing Khuzaa town after Israeli troops began an incursion on the eastern edge of the territory, bulldozing across the border fence.

"Bombing everywhere, people are leaving in panic. It was a surprising incursion," one resident from Khuzaa said, as he and his family were leaving.

Israel is pushing on with its operations in Rafah on Gaza's southern border with Egypt, where more than half of the territory's 2.3 million population had sought refuge after being displaced from areas further north. — Reuters

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