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Israeli Airstrikes in Gaza Refugee Camps Result in Over 50 Casualties

November 6, 2023
3 mins read
Gaza Refugee Camp

Israeli warplanes conducted airstrikes on two Gaza refugee camps in central Gaza on Sunday, resulting in the death of at least 53 people and injuring numerous others, as reported by health officials.

Despite U.S. appeals for temporary ceasefires to facilitate humanitarian aid delivery to desperate civilians, Israel has stated its intention to continue its offensive aimed at weakening the rule of Hamas in the territory.

One of the airstrikes targeted the Maghazi refugee camp, causing the death of at least 40 people and leaving 34 others wounded, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry. This camp was within the area recommended by Israel’s military for Palestinian civilians seeking refuge as the military focused its offensive on the northern regions.

A reporter from the Associated Press (AP) present at a nearby hospital witnessed the arrival of eight deceased children, including an infant, following the strike. A surviving child, covered in dust and visibly shocked, was seen being led down a corridor.

A resident of the camp, Arafat Abu Mashaia, described the Israeli airstrike as devastating, stating that it had destroyed several multi-story homes where people displaced from other parts of Gaza had sought shelter. He emphasized that the camp’s inhabitants were peaceful and challenged any claims of resistance fighters being present.

The Israeli military did not provide an immediate comment on the situation.

In a separate airstrike, a house near a school in the Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza was hit, resulting in at least 13 casualties, according to information from Al-Aqsa Hospital. This camp is home to approximately 46,000 people and had already been targeted by airstrikes on a previous occasion.

Despite international appeals and demonstrations, Israel has persisted with its bombardment across Gaza, justifying its actions by claiming to target Hamas and accusing the group of using civilians as human shields. Critics contend that Israel’s strikes often result in a disproportionate number of civilian casualties.

On the ground in Gaza, Israeli forces have reported the discovery of weapons caches, including explosives, suicide drones, and missiles, at various times.

A significant portion of residential neighborhoods in northern Gaza has been leveled due to airstrikes. The U.N. Office for Humanitarian Affairs reports that over half of the remaining residents, estimated at around 300,000, have sought refuge in U.N.-run facilities.

On Sunday, Israeli planes dropped leaflets once more, encouraging people to move south during a four-hour window. Crowds were observed walking along Gaza’s primary north-south highway, carrying their belongings, pets, and pushing wheelchairs. Some were leading donkey carts.

Residents described encountering Israeli troops and having to walk with their hands raised for approximately 500 meters. They also mentioned witnessing damaged cars with bodies along the road, with children seeing tanks for the first time and expressing their distress.

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