GAZA: Israeli shelling near a hospital in southern Gaza has killed 41 people over the past two days, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent, after Israel stepped up its attacks in the centre and south of the besieged territory.
The UN humanitarian agency said on Thursday that an estimated 100,000 more displaced people had arrived in the already teeming southern border town of Rafah in recent days after fighting intensified around Deir al-Balah and Khan Yunis.
The other moves came as Egyptian officials prepared to host a high-level Hamas delegation in Cairo on Friday to negotiate a new proposal aimed at ending the nearly three-month war that has devastated Gaza.
The Palestinian Red Crescent on Thursday condemned Israeli shelling near Al-Amal Hospital in Khan Yunis that resulted in the martyrdom of 10 people and wounded at least 21 others, adding that the attack followed one outside the hospital the day before that killed 31.
Among the casualties are individuals present outside the hospital and displaced persons seeking shelter in the PRCS (Red Crescent) premises, the group said in a statement.
Later in the day, the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said Israeli shelling had killed 20 people, mostly women and children, in the Shaboura camp in Rafah on the southern border with Egypt.
Footage from the city showed bloodied people rushing through the streets to a nearby Kuwaiti hospital, where medical staff were racing to treat a flood of injured patients, including children.
The war in Gaza, which began with a Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, has left much of the north of the territory in ruins as the battlefront has moved ever further south.
Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas in retaliation for the attack, which Israeli figures say has left about 1,140 dead, mostly civilians.
Israel’s military campaign in Gaza has killed at least 21,320 people, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.
Around 250 hostages were also taken in the attack, more than half of whom remain captive – a source of intense anxiety for their families, who protested in Jerusalem on Thursday demanding to “bring them home”.
Israel’s military says 167 of its soldiers have been killed inside Gaza in its fight against Hamas, which Israel, the United States and the European Union consider a “terrorist” group.