Intense fighting in Jabalia camp and across Gaza Strip kills dozens

Hamas and Israel claim enemy casualties as planes drop 900kg bombs on streets

Israeli soldiers during military operations in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday. AFP
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Gun battles raged in northern Gaza's Jabalia refugee camp and in Rafah in the south on Wednesday as Israel's offensive intensified, pushing through a city that is sheltering more than one million displaced civilians.

Confrontations between the Israeli military and Hamas fighters continued on the streets in Jabalia, where Israeli forces last engaged in fighting in November, supported by warplanes that dropped 900kg bombs in the built-up area.

Four civilians were killed and others were injured by an Israeli strike on a house belonging to the Abu Al Hassani family in Jabalia camp, according to Wafa, the Palestinian news agency.

The dead and injured were taken to Kamal Adwan Hospital. Israel's military also targeted the Old Gaza Street in Jabalia for attack, where both the military wing of Hamas and Israel claimed to have caused enemy casualties.

The armed wing of Hamas said its fighters also killed and wounded Israeli soldiers during clashes in eastern Jabalia, the biggest of eight refugee camps built in Gaza after the 1948 Middle East Arab-Israeli war.

The Israeli military said it had begun an operation overnight against “terrorist operatives and infrastructure” in the centre of Jabalia.

“Over the past day, IDF troops in the area have engaged in intense battles with dozens of terrorist cells and eliminated a large number of terrorists,” a statement said, including some it said had fired towards the Israeli city of Sderot on Tuesday.

In the south of Gaza near the Egyptian border, fighting resumed in the eastern side of Rafah district, including the Jnaina and Salam neighbourhoods.

Areas to the east of the city, including Barazil, were the scene of heavy artillery bombardment that caused extensive damage to homes.

The European Union urged Israel to halt its military operation in Rafah, saying it is "further disrupting the distribution of humanitarian aid in Gaza and is leading to more internal displacement, exposure to famine and human suffering".

The assault would put a heavy strain on the EU's ties with Israel if it continued, the bloc said on Wednesday.

Ten people were killed in Israeli attacks across other areas across the strip.

There were fatalities at a clinic linked to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in Al Sabra south of Gaza, Wafa said.

The areas of Al Zaytoun, Al Sabra and Al Rimal in Gaza city suffered intense Israeli air and artillery bombardment that injured a number of civilians.

Wafa reported that the renewed violence on Al Zaytoun neighbourhood, south-east of Gaza city, resulted in seven civilians being severely injured and transferred to Al Baptist Hospital.

Media reported that at least 82 Palestinians were killed by Israeli air attacks in 24 hours, the highest death toll in a single day in many weeks.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa said on Wednesday that Israel’s attacks on Gaza will not push Palestinians out of their land.

“Palestinians remain committed to their homeland despite Israel’s continuous attempts to displace them,” he said in an address to the nation.

Updated: May 15, 2024, 10:47 AM