Israel-Hamas war intensifies, Gaza humanitarian crisis worsens

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Smoke rises over Khan Younis, Gaza after Israeli strikes on Sunday, December 10. Mohammed Dahman/AP

Dozens of Palestinian civilians were killed and hundreds of others wounded in Israeli airstrikes across Gaza on Sunday, according to the official Palestinian news agency, WAFA. 

Some 45 civilians were killed in the Jabalya refugee camp in northern Gaza Sunday after Israel launched “violent air raids” that targeted a house, WAFA reported. Several others remain buried under the rubble, it added. 

Nine more civilians were killed in a residential square in Jabalya al-Balad, WAFA said. 

Khan Younis attacks: Meanwhile, in southern Gaza, the city of Khan Younis came under “a series of airstrikes and artillery shelling on a number of areas,” on Sunday, according to WAFA. 

Israel “targeted homes in which residents were sheltering, killing dozens and wounding hundreds” in the northern and eastern parts of the city, WAFA reported.

Hospitals have also faced increased pressure in Khan Younis, with medical sources telling WAFA that wounded people arriving at the Nasser Medical Complex must lay on the ground because there are “no beds, medicines, and medical supplies available for them.”

WAFA said the vicinity of the Gaza European Hospital in Khan Younis has been bombed, with Israeli attacks occurring through Saturday night and Sunday.  

Some context: On Saturday, the Israel Defense Forces issued “an urgent appeal” for civilians to evacuate from much of Khan Younis amid fierce fighting in the area, which it says is a “main stronghold” of Hamas. It is unclear how many people were aware of the instruction given the lack of communications networks and internet availability in much of Gaza.

“The general instruction for residents is to move to the Al-Muwasi area, as well as blocks updated in the IDF interactive map published last week,” the IDF told CNN.

Al-Muwasi is a strip of land of some 20 square kilometers on the coast. A statement last month by UN agencies and humanitarian groups such as Care International, Mercy Corps, and the World Health Organization, said the area could not function as a safe zone until all sides pledged not to fight there. Al-Muwasi has few facilities and is largely open land but has already seen an influx of people trying to escape from the fighting.


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