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Israel strikes Gaza, Syria and West Financial institution as conflict intensifies

RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli warplanes struck targets throughout Gaza, two airports in Syria and a mosque within the occupied West Financial institution allegedly utilized by militants, because the 2-week-old conflict with Hamas threatened to spiral Sunday right into a broader battle.

Israel has traded hearth with Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group for the reason that conflict started, and tensions are hovering within the occupied West Financial institution, the place Israeli forces have battled militants in refugee camps and carried out two airstrikes in current days.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed troops in northern Israel that if Hezbollah launches a conflict, “it’s going to make the error of its life. We’ll cripple it with a pressure it can’t even think about and the results for it and the Lebanese state will probably be devastating.”

For days, Israel has gave the impression to be on the verge of launching a floor offensive in Gaza following Hamas’ lethal Oct. 7 rampage, with tanks and troops massed on the border.

Israel’s army spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, stated the nation had elevated airstrikes throughout Gaza to hit targets that would cut back the chance to troops within the subsequent stage of the conflict.

Hamas stated it fought with Israeli forces close to Khan Younis in southern Gaza and destroyed a tank and two bulldozers. The Israeli army stated it had no details about the declare.

On Saturday, 20 vehicles entered Gaza within the first help cargo into the territory since Israel imposed an entire siege two weeks in the past.

Egypt’s state-run media reported 17 extra vehicles crossing Sunday, however the United Nations stated none had crossed.

“Till now, there isn’t a convoy,” stated Juliette Touma, spokeswoman for the U.N. company for Palestinian refugees.

Related Press journalists noticed seven gas vehicles head north from the border, however Touma and the Israeli army stated these vehicles had been taking gas that had been saved on the Gaza facet of the crossing deeper into the territory, and that no gas had entered from Egypt.

In an indication of how precarious any motion of help stays, the Egyptian army stated in a press release that Israeli shelling hit a watchtower on Egypt’s facet of the border, inflicting mild accidents. The Israeli army apologized, saying a tank had by chance fired and hit an Egyptian publish, and the incident was being investigated.

Aid employees stated much more help was wanted to deal with the spiraling humanitarian disaster in Gaza, the place half the territory’s 2.3 million individuals have fled their houses. The U.N. humanitarian company, generally known as OCHA, stated Saturday’s convoy carried about 4% of a mean day’s imports earlier than the conflict and “a fraction of what’s wanted after 13 days of full siege.”

The Israeli army stated the humanitarian state of affairs was “beneath management,” whilst OCHA referred to as for 100 vehicles a day to enter.

Israel repeated its requires individuals to depart northern Gaza, together with by dropping leaflets from the air. It estimated 700,000 already fled. However a whole lot of 1000’s stay. That will elevate the chance of mass civilian casualties in any floor offensive.

Israeli army officers say Hamas’ infrastructure and underground tunnel system are concentrated in Gaza Metropolis, within the north, and that the subsequent stage of the offensive will embrace unprecedented pressure there. Israel says it needs to crush Hamas. Officers have additionally spoken of carving out a buffer zone to maintain Palestinians from approaching the border.

Hospitals filled with sufferers and displaced individuals are operating low on medical provides and gas for mills, forcing medical doctors to carry out surgical procedures with stitching needles, utilizing vinegar as disinfectant, and with out anesthesia.

The World Well being Group says at the very least 130 untimely infants are at “grave threat” due to a scarcity of generator gas. It stated seven hospitals in northern Gaza have been pressured to close down on account of injury from strikes, lack of energy and provides, or Israeli evacuation orders.

Shortages in crucial provides, together with ventilators, are forcing medical doctors to ration therapy, stated Dr. Mohammed Qandeel, who works in Khan Younis’ Nasser Hospital. Dozens of sufferers proceed to reach and are handled in crowded, darkened corridors, as hospitals protect electrical energy for intensive care models.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Qandeel stated. “Each day, if we obtain 10 severely injured sufferers we have now to handle with perhaps three or 5 ICU beds obtainable.”

Palestinians sheltering in U.N.-run faculties and tent camps are operating low on meals and ingesting soiled water. An influence blackout has crippled water and sanitation techniques. OCHA stated circumstances of chickenpox, scabies and diarrhea are on the rise due to the shortage of fresh water.

Heavy airstrikes had been reported throughout Gaza, together with within the southern a part of the coastal strip, the place Israel has informed civilians to hunt refuge. On the Al-Aqsa hospital in Deir al-Balah, south of the evacuation line, a number of our bodies wrapped in white shrouds had been lined up exterior on the bottom.

Khalil al-Degran, a hospital official, stated greater than 90 our bodies had been introduced in since early Sunday, because the sound of close by bombing echoed behind him. He stated 180 wounded individuals had arrived, principally kids, ladies and the aged who had been displaced from different areas.

Airstrikes additionally smashed by way of {the marketplace} within the Nuseirat refugee camp. Witnesses stated at the very least a dozen individuals had been killed.

Israel’s army has stated it’s hanging Hamas fighters and installations, however doesn’t goal civilians. Palestinian militants have fired over 7,000 rockets at Israel, in response to the army, and Hamas says it focused Tel Aviv early Sunday.

Greater than 1,400 individuals in Israel have been killed — principally civilians slain in the course of the preliminary Hamas assault. At the least 212 individuals had been captured and dragged again to Gaza. Two Individuals had been launched on Friday.

Greater than 4,600 individuals have been killed in Gaza, in response to the Hamas-run Well being Ministry. That features the disputed toll from a hospital explosion.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken informed CBS’ “Face the Nation” that Hamas was accountable, not only for its brutal rampage in southern Israel, however for the deaths of civilians in Israel’s assaults on Gaza. “It knew that in Israel’s essential response, civilians could be caught in that crossfire,” he stated.

He stated the militants had been working among the many civilian inhabitants and its tunnels had been buried beneath hospitals and faculties. “What does anybody anticipate Israel to do?” he stated.

“That is on Hamas.”

Syrian state media, in the meantime reported that Israeli airstrikes hit the worldwide airports within the capital, Damascus, and the northern metropolis of Aleppo, killing one individual and placing the runways out of service.

Israel has carried out a number of strikes in Syria for the reason that conflict started. Israel not often acknowledges particular person strikes, however says it acts to forestall Hezbollah and different militants from bringing in arms from Iran, which additionally helps Hamas.

In Lebanon, Hezbollah stated six fighters had been killed Saturday, and the group’s deputy chief, Sheikh Naim Kassem, warned that Israel would pay a excessive value if it invades Gaza. Israel struck Hezbollah in response to rocket hearth, the army stated.

Israel additionally introduced evacuation plans for an additional 14 communities close to the Lebanon border.

Within the Israeli-occupied West Financial institution, 93 Palestinians have been killed — together with eight Sunday — in clashes with Israeli troops, arrest raids and assaults by Jewish settlers for the reason that Hamas assaults, in response to the Palestinian Well being Ministry. Israeli forces have closed crossings into the territory and checkpoints between cities, measures they are saying are geared toward stopping assaults. Israel says it has arrested greater than 700 Palestinians since Oct. 7, together with 480 suspected Hamas members.

Among the many useless had been two killed in an airstrike on a mosque within the city of Jenin, which has seen heavy gun battles over the previous 12 months.

The Israeli army stated the mosque compound belonged to Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants who had carried out a number of assaults in current months and had been planning one other.

The internationally acknowledged Palestinian Authority administers components of the West Financial institution and cooperates with Israel on safety, however it’s deeply unpopular and has been the goal of violent Palestinian protests.


Magdy reported from Cairo and Nessman from Jerusalem. Related Press journalists Amy Teibel in Jerusalem; Samya Kullab in Baghdad; Bassem Mroue in Beirut; Ashraf Sweilam in el-Arish, Egypt, and Albert Aji in Damascus, Syria, contributed to this report.

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