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Israel’s Attacks on Gaza Refugee Camps Kill 22, Death Toll Rises to 36,439

Gaza City: In a series of devastating Israeli airstrikes, at least 22 people were killed in various refugee camps across Gaza, as reported by local news agencies.

Early Saturday, Israeli forces targeted the Nuseirat and Bureij refugee camps in central Gaza, resulting in the deaths of four individuals in Nuseirat and six women and children in Bureij. The violence continued with overnight attacks on residential homes in Khan Younis, claiming the lives of 12 people, including three children.

In addition to these attacks, rescuers uncovered 50 more bodies in the Jabalia refugee camp days after Israeli forces concluded a three-week-long operation in the area. Elsewhere, an Israeli strike near Aleppo in northern Syria killed 12 people.

In the midst of these escalating tensions, Palestinian municipal authorities have declared Jabalia and Beit Hanoon in northern Gaza as “disaster areas.”

Israel’s crackdown on journalists and free media also persists, with the recent detainment of Wafa News journalist Rasha Hirzallah in the occupied West Bank.

Amidst the violence, Hamas spokesperson Osama Hamdan acknowledged a ceasefire proposal by US President Joe Biden as “positive,” though the group has not yet received any formal documentation. Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, facing an International Criminal Court arrest warrant alongside three Hamas leaders, firmly stated, “We will not accept the rule of Hamas in Gaza at any stage.”

The emergency committee reports extensive destruction of infrastructure in northern Gaza by Israeli forces, including 50,000 housing units, 35 water wells, various UNRWA-operated schools and facilities, drainage networks, and roads.

Additionally, over 900,000 displaced Palestinians have been forced to flee Rafah’s encampments, designated as “Safe Zones,” due to Israeli airstrikes resulting in several casualties. Israel has continued to bomb Rafah despite the International Court of Justice’s  (ICJ) ruling to halt its operations in the city where over a million displaced Palestinians were seeking shelter.

Since the onset of hostilities on October 7, the conflict has resulted in the deaths of at least 36,439 Palestinians and injuries to 82,627, highlighting the severe humanitarian crisis in the region.

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