A large explosion ripped through the densely packed Jabaliya camp before nightfall, tearing facades off nearby buildings and leaving a deep, debris-littered crater on October 31, with rescuers clawing through the destruction to pull men, women and children from the rubble.
Wails filled the air as hundreds of bystanders and volunteers clawed at concrete blocks and twisted metal looking for survivors.Israel-Hamas war Day 26 | Follow live updates
Israel said the strike, which targeted a senior Hamas military leader, destroyed a militant command centre and an underground tunnel network.
Palestinians search for casualties at the site of Israeli strikes on houses in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, October 31, 2023.
The Jabaliya refugee camp is located in a densely built-up area of small streets on Gaza City’s outskirts. The camp has been the scene of much violence in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.
Jabaliya is the closest camp to the Erez border crossing between The Gaza Strip and Israel. After the 1948 War, refugees settled in the camp, most having fled from villages in southern Palestine.
Israel’s military confirmed striking Gaza’s Jabaliya refugee camp Tuesday, saying the operation succeeded in killing a key Hamas commander linked to the October 7 attack on Israel by the Palestinian militant group.
In this frame grab from video, Palestinians are seen inside a heavily damaged apartment building following Israeli airstrikes at the Jabaliya refugee camp on Gaza City’s outskirts, on Oct. 31, 2023.
Israel aggressively defended the attack, with military spokesman Jonathan Conricus saying the targeted commander had also been a key planner of the bloody October 7 rampage that started the war, and that the apartment buildings collapsed only because the vast underground Hamas complex had been destroyed.
Before the strike on Jabaliya, the Health Ministry in Gaza said 8,525 people have been killed in the narrow strip of land since Israel launched its bombing campaign on October 7.
The toll from the attack in the Jabaliya camp was not immediately known. The director of the nearby hospital where casualties were taken, Dr. Atef Al-Kahlot, said hundreds of people were wounded or killed.
In the Jabaliya refugee camp — a densely built-up area of small streets on Gaza City’s outskirts — dozens of rescuers searched for survivors amid a series of obliterated buildings and others that had partially collapsed. The Israeli military said it carried out a wide-scale strike in Jabaliya on Hamas infrastructure “that had taken over civilian buildings.”