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Latest developments in Israel-Hamas war

Fighting raged in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, nearly six weeks after a shock attack by Hamas sparked relentless bombing and a ground offensive by Israel, which vows to destroy the Palestinian militant group.

About 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were killed in Israel during the October 7 attack and around 240 taken hostage, according to Israeli officials.

ALSO READ: Hamas health ministry says Israeli strike killed 15 at Gaza UN school

In Gaza, 12,000 people, also mostly civilians, have been killed, officials in the Hamas-run territory have said.

Here are five key developments from the past 24 hours:

Al-Shifa evacuation

Hundreds of people left Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital on foot, an AFP journalist at the scene saw, after the hospital director said the Israeli army ordered the hospital’s evacuation.

Hamas health officials said dozens of wounded people remained at the facility, along with an unspecified number of premature babies.

ALSO READ: Israel presses Gaza incursion, vowing no ‘surrender’ to Hamas

Al-Shifa hospital — Gaza’s biggest — has become a focal point of the war. Israel alleges Hamas operates a base underneath the facility, a charge the militants deny.

The United Nations estimated 2,300 patients, staff and displaced Palestinians were sheltering at Al-Shifa before Israeli troops moved in on Wednesday.

West Bank militants killed

Five fighters in the armed wing of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas’ Fatah party were killed overnight in a rare Israeli air strike on the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Red Crescent and Fatah sources said.

Israeli army raids targeting Palestinian militants in the West Bank have surged since Hamas launched its October 7 attacks on southern Israel from the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli army said it had killed “a number of terrorists” in an air strike on the Balata refugee camp in Nablus, home to some 24,000 according to the United Nations which manages it.

Witnesses told AFP the strike appeared to have come from a drone, and Fatah sources confirmed the dead were members of the movement founded by late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Khan Yunis strike

At least 26 people have been killed in a strike on a residential building in south Gaza’s Khan Yunis region.

The director of the Nasser hospital told AFP the facility had received 26 dead bodies and 23 people with serious wounds after the strike in the city of Hamad.

Fuel enters Gaza under Israel-US deal

A first consignment of fuel entered Gaza from Egypt after Israel agreed to a US request to allow limited deliveries to end a communications blackout that has halted aid convoys for two days.

Some 17,000 litres (about 4,500 gallons) destined for telecommunications company Paltel passed through the Rafah crossing, a Palestinian border official said.

ALSO READ: Israel-Hamas war already hitting regional economies: IMF chief

A senior US official said Washington had exerted huge pressure on Israel to allow fuel in through Rafah, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken making clear Israel needed to act immediately to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe.

German, Turkish leaders trade barbs

The German and Turkish leaders traded barbs over Israel’s war on Hamas, with Chancellor Olaf Scholz stressing the country’s right to self-defence while Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded an end to Israel’s military operation.

“There is a need to make Israel’s self-defence possible and not to call it into question,” Scholz said.

Erdogan lashed out at Israel’s air and ground campaign in Gaza, saying: “Shooting hospitals or killing children does not exist in the Torah, you can’t do it.”

from The Citizen https://www.citizen.co.za/news/news-world/latest-developments-in-israel-hamas-war/

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