GAZA: An Israeli air strike killed at least 70 more people in the Al-Maghazi refugee camp in the centre of the strip, Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry said.
According to a spokesman, the death toll was likely to rise given the large number of families living in the area.
The BBC quoted the Israeli military sources as having said that it was looking into reports of the strike. Israeli and Arab media say Egypt, which borders the Gaza Strip, has put forward a new proposal for a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel.
Hundreds of injured people were taken from Maghazi to nearby Al-Aqsa Hospital with footage showing some children’s faces having blood stains and body bags piled outside. The health ministry said three houses were hit in the late Sunday attack. A densely populated residential block was destroyed, according to a ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra.
A father said he had lost his daughter and grandchildren. He said his family had fled from the north for safety in central Gaza.
“They lived on the third floor of one of the buildings,” the BBC quoted him as having said. “The wall collapsed on them. My grandchildren, my daughter, her husband – all gone.”
The Palestine Red Crescent Society has said “intense” Israeli air strikes have led to the closure of main roads between Maghazi and two other refugee camps, Al-Nuseirat and Al-Bureij, “hindering the work of ambulances and rescue teams”.
In a statement to the BBC, the Israeli military said it had received “reports of an incident in the Maghazi camp”.
According to the health ministry, over 20,000 people have been killed – mostly children and women – and 54,000 injured in Gaza since October 7, when Hamas attacked Israel, killing 1,200 people and taking about 240 hostages.
A day earlier, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said the war had come at a “very heavy price” for his country. According to the Israeli military, more than a dozen soldiers had been killed in Gaza since Friday, bringing the total for the ground offensive to 154.
Saturday was one of the deadliest days for Israeli army but Netanyahu said there was “no choice” but to keep fighting.
Meanwhile, the Danish shipping giant, Maersk, has said it is preparing to resume shipping operations through the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. The announcement came after a US-led world military operation was deployed to prevent the targeting of commercial ships by drones from areas of Yemen controlled by Houthi rebels who have declared their support for Hamas and said they would target any Israel-bound ship.
Maersk and other shipping companies had stopped sending ships through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal earlier this month due to drone attacks. Two days ago, the US Central Command said a US navy destroyer had shot down four drones in the Red Sea launched from Yemeni territory.