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Gaza: 51 Palestinian civilians killed in Israeli airstrike on Al-Maghazi refugee camp

5th Nov 2023
Gaza: 51 Palestinian civilians killed in Israeli airstrike on Al-Maghazi refugee camp

By Ahmed Asmar

ANKARA (AA): At least 51 Palestinians were killed in an Israeli airstrike on the Al-Maghazi refugee camp at midnight local time Saturday in the central Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian official news agency, WAFA

It said Israeli warplanes targeted the Sam’an family’s home in the Al-Maghazi camp, leaving dozens injured.

WAFA added that most of the casualties were children and women.

The Israeli bombing destroyed the home and caused severe damage to neighboring homes and infrastructure.

The Israeli army has widened its air and ground attacks on the Gaza Strip, which has been under relentless airstrikes since the surprise offensive by the Palestinian resistance group, Hamas, on Oct. 7.

“The death toll as a result of the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip since October 7 is 9,500, including 3,900 children and 2,509 women,” Salama Marouf, the head of the Gaza Media Office, said at a news conference.

Marouf added: “The Israeli raids led to the destruction of 55 mosques, three universities, three churches, and five buildings belonging to the Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs in Gaza.”

On losses in the health care sector, he said: “Sixteen hospitals, 32 primary care centers, and 27 ambulances were damaged, in addition to 105 medical institutions.”

In terms of residential buildings, the Israeli raids caused, according to Marouf, “the destruction of 8,500 homes and 40,000 housing units, and damage to 220,000 other units, in addition to the damage to 88 government headquarters and 220 schools, 60 of which had to end service.”

Nearly 1,540 Israelis have been killed.

Hamas’s armed wing, Al-Qassam Brigades, said Saturday that 60 Israeli hostages have been killed in Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip since Oct. 7.

Spokesman Abu Obeida said after search operations, “still there are 23 bodies (of hostages) lost under the rubble.”

“It seems we won’t be able to reach them due to the ongoing brutal aggression by the occupation on Gaza,” Abu Obeida added.

Israel has prevented fuel and electricity from entering Gaza, while it severely restricted water, food and medicine since the start of a new conflict on Oct. 7.

Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said Saturday that fuel will not enter Gaza “under any circumstances.”

“Gaza will be under Israeli control after the war,” Israeli Channel 12 quoted Smotrich, without further details.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said Saturday that crews received 47 trucks Friday loaded with aid through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, while fuel continued to be prevented.

The UN and international organizations warned that the lack of fuel has had numerous negative effects, especially in hospitals, which depend on fuel to run power generators after electricity was cut off last month.

The fuel shortage has left hospitals, bakeries and drinking water pumping engines out of service, intensifying the humanitarian catastrophe in the blocked enclave.

UN officials repeatedly urged Israel to allow fuel into the Gaza Strip and stressed that “hospitals cannot be part of any combat.”

UN chief Antonio Guterres repeatedly stressed the need for “immediate and rapid delivery of food, fuel, water, to the Gaza Strip.”

Rejecting widespread calls for a cease-fire in Gaza, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Saturday during press conference with Arab leaders claimed this would give Hamas a chance to lick its wounds and carry out another attack like the one that began the current conflict.

“A cease-fire now will simply leave Hamas in place, able to regroup and repeat what it did on October 7,” Blinken told a joint press conference held in Amman, Jordan with his Jordanian and Egyptian counterparts after meeting with leaders from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority.

He added: “It is important to reaffirm Israel’s right to defend itself, and its obligation to do so, and to taking the necessary steps so October 7 never happens again. But what is also important is the way Israel does that, and that’s what we talked to the Israeli government about.”

The US has reportedly pressed Israel, mostly behind the scenes, to try to defend itself in a more humane way, but to little apparent effect on the ground.

Decrying the mass killings in Gaza, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi called for a cease-fire and argued: “How can we justify to anyone the killing of over 9,000 people, including 4,000 children, in the name of Israel’s self-defense?”

He also said: “We demand a cease-fire and reject calling what is happening (in Gaza) self-defense. What is happening cannot be justified and will not bring security to Israel.”

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said: “We demand an international investigation into the blatant actions seen in the war on Gaza.”

He also reiterated his country’s rejection of the so-called “liquidation of the Palestinian issue,” meaning an attempt to wipe away the problem in Gaza by forcefully displacing the Palestinians into the Sinai Peninsula.

[Photo: Palestinian children injured in Israeli attacks on Al-Maghazi refugee camp brought to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir Al-Balah, Gaza on 5 11 23. Photojournalist Ashraf Amra /AA]



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