Israel intensifies attacks on Khan Younis as Palestinian death toll passes 16,200

Refugee camp in the south is hit, along with homes in the north

The aftermath of Israeli strikes in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, where residents said Tuesday night was 'harsh'. Reuters
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Intensive Israeli attacks across the entire Gaza Strip, including Khan Younis in the south, continued for a second day as the death toll climbed past 16,200 people, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.

Terror gripped residents in the south, as the shelling got closer to homes and hospitals including the Palestinian Red Crescent-run Al Amal.

“The situation is getting more complicated,” an emergency responder told The National. “They are hitting very close by, including with phosphorus gas. We can smell it. We can see it.”

Mother of three Nedaa'a Abdel Wahab said she has been on the move since the war began on October 7, first from Gaza city, then to Nuseirat camp in the west and now to Khan Younis.

“The bombing in Khan Younis city last night was indescribable,” she said. “It's as if this is the biggest country in the world and they want to completely destroy it.”

More residents are moving further south into Rafah, on the border with Egypt. The UN says another wave of displacement is taking place, as conditions become “apocalyptic” and shops are running out of what little supplies they had.

“There's nothing in the supermarket at all. I waited for six hours in front of a bakery and only managed to get six loaves of bread which is not enough for my big family,” Mohammad Abdel Rahman told The National from Rafah.

Seventy per cent of the dead in Gaza are children, the health ministry said.

Tuesday night was “harsh, especially in the east and north,” a Khan Younis resident told The National.

“A house next to us was destroyed, causing damage to one of the windows of the house in which we live and shattering its glass,” he added.

Israeli forces said they struck 250 targets. Troops also located “weapons, underground shafts, explosives and additional military infrastructure”, the Israeli army said in a statement.

Khan Younis refugee camp was hit, killing three people. The Malak Girls School where hundreds are seeking shelter was also struck, killing at least one child and injuring eight other people. Saraya Al Quds militant group said it targeted Israeli positions east of Khan Younis with high-explosive mortar shells and RPGs.

An Israeli air strike hit a residential building in Khan Younis's Al Asda neighbourhood, injuring at least 10 people.

Fighting continued in the north as well, with Jabalia struck and numerous injuries and casualties reported, local news outlets said. Communications have been nearly non-existent in Jabalia, where the Palestinian Red Crescent had set up a medical portal to treat minor and moderate injuries.

“We have not heard from our team there in days. The only way we know they're alive is through spotty radio signals which Khan Younis's control room has been receiving,” spokeswoman Nibal Farsakh told The National.

On Wednesday, Israel said it would will pause hostilities until 2pm local time to allow humanitarian aid to flow into Rafah.

They told Gaza’s residents to refrain from using Salah Al Din road – the main route from the north to the south.

Israel had earlier designated Salah Al Din road as the route for those evacuating from the north, but many people reported coming under attack as they were fleeing their homes believing they would be safe from Israeli shelling.

Updated: December 06, 2023, 6:10 PM