Image Source : PTI/FILE A building damaged in Israeli strikes in Gaza

 

At least 39 people were killed in a fresh round of Israeli air strikes across northern Gaza on Saturday. Palestinian and hospital officials confirmed the deaths. Israel said its fighter jets struck two Hamas military sites in the Gaza City area but did not elaborate further.

Fadel Naem, director of the al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City said more than three dozen bodies arrived at the hospital.

An emergency group active in Gaza (the Palestinian Civil Defense), said it pulled approximately the same number of bodies from a building hit by an Israeli strike in an eastern neighbourhood of Gaza City.

The Palestinian Civil Defense officials said its emergency workers were also digging for survivors at the site of another strike in Shati refugee camp, west of Gaza City.

Israel said Saturday that it was continuing to operate in central and southern Gaza and has pushed ahead with its invasion of Rafah. Over a million Palestinians took refuge in Rafah.

Most have now fled the city, but the United Nations says no place in Gaza is safe and humanitarian conditions are dire as families shelter in tents and cramped apartments without adequate food, water or medical supplies.

A separate Israeli strike Saturday in Lebanon’s eastern Bekaa Valley killed a member of the military wing of al-Jamaa al-Islamiya, or the Islamic Group, a Sunni Muslim faction closely allied with Hamas, according to the group. It was the seventh killing by Israeli strikes in Lebanon since the war began.

The Israel-Hamas war was triggered after Hamas militants who stormed southern Israel killed about 1,200 people and took some 250 others hostage on October 7, 2023. Israel has responded by bombarding and invading the enclave, killing more than 37,400 Palestinians there according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between combatants and civilians in its count.

Also Saturday, Israel’s army said an Israeli man was fatally shot in the northern West Bank town of Qalqilya, where Israeli forces fatally shot two militants Friday, the latest flare of violence in the territory since the Israel-Hamas war erupted.

At least 549 Palestinians in the territory have been killed by Israeli fire since the war began, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry, which tracks the killings. Over the same period, Palestinians in the West Bank have killed at least nine Israelis, including five soldiers, according to UN data.

Israeli nationals are prohibited from entering Qalqilya and other areas of the West Bank that fall under the control of the Palestinian Authority.

In April, the death of a 14-year-old Israeli settler sparked a series of settler attacks on Palestinian towns in the territory. The army said a Palestinian was later arrested in connection with the killing.

(With AP inputs)

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