Airstrike kills 25 in southern Gaza as Israeli assault on Gaza City shuts down medical facilities

Much of the population fled earlier in the war, but several hundred thousand Palestinians remain in the north.

Published - July 10, 2024 07:00 am IST - DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip

Palestinians wounded in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip are brought to a hospital in Khan Younis, on July 9, 2024.

Palestinians wounded in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip are brought to a hospital in Khan Younis, on July 9, 2024. | Photo Credit: AP

An apparent Israeli airstrike on a school-turned-shelter in southern Gaza killed at least 25 Palestinians on Tuesday, as heavy bombardment in the north forced the closure of medical facilities in Gaza City and sent thousands fleeing in search of increasingly elusive refuge.

Israel’s new ground assault in Gaza's largest city is its latest effort to battle Hamas militants regrouping in areas the army previously said had been largely cleared.

Large parts of Gaza City and urban areas around it have been flattened or left a shattered landscape after nine months of fighting. Much of the population fled earlier in the war, but several hundred thousand Palestinians remain in the north.

“The fighting has been intense,” said Hakeem Abdel-Bar, who fled Gaza City’s Tuffah district to the home of relatives in another part of the city. He said Israeli warplanes and drones were “striking anything moving” and that tanks had moved into central districts.

The strike at the entrance to the school killed at least 25 people, according to an Associated Press reporter who counted the bodies at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis. Hospital spokesperson Weam Fares said the dead included at least seven women and children and that the toll was likely to rise.

Earlier airstrikes in central Gaza killed at least 14 people, including a woman and four children, according to two hospitals that received the bodies. Israel has repeatedly struck what it says are militant targets across Gaza since the start of the war nine months ago.

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