Kuala Lumpur Post

World

Gaza health officials say 24 killed in Israeli strikes

GAZA STRIP, Palestinian Territories — Health officials said Israeli air strikes on Saturday killed at least 24 people in the territory’s north, a day after the International Committee of the Red Cross said 22 people were killed in shelling that damaged its office.

The Gaza City strikes added to at least 120 deaths over the previous 48 hours.

Dr Mahmud Aliwa of Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza City said his facility received 24 bodies after the strikes, which left smoke rising over the city.

Gaza civil defence agency spokesman Mahmud Basal told AFP that at least 20 were killed in a strike on a house in Al-Tuffah neighbourhood, while a strike in Al-Shati refugee camp claimed the lives of four others.

Earlier on Saturday, Israel’s military said its fighter jets were striking “two Hamas military infrastructure sites in the area of Gaza City.”

The European Union’s foreign affairs chief, Josep Borrell, on Saturday called for a probe into the shelling that damaged the ICRC office.

“An independent investigation is needed and those responsible must be held accountable,” Borrell wrote on social media platform X.

Late Friday the ICRC said 22 dead and 45 wounded were taken to a Red Cross field hospital after shelling with “heavy calibre projectiles” near its southern Gaza office.

“Firing so dangerously close to humanitarian structures puts the lives of civilians and humanitarians at risk,” the ICRC said on X.

Gaza’s health ministry blamed the shelling on Israel, saying 25 were killed and 50 wounded in the coastal Al-Mawasi area, where thousands of displaced Palestinians have been sheltering in tents.

An Israel military statement on Saturday said an initial inquiry found “there was no direct attack carried out by the IDF against a Red Cross facility”, but the incident was still under review and “findings will be presented to our international partners”.

On Saturday witnesses reported gun battles in Gaza City where Israeli forces backed by helicopter fire.

Experts are divided on the prospect of a wider war, almost nine months into Israel’s campaign to eradicate Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The war has destroyed much of Gaza’s infrastructure and left residents short of food, fuel and other essentials.

On June 16 the army announced a daily “tactical pause of military activity” in a southern Gaza corridor from the Kerem Shalom crossing point to facilitate aid deliveries.

But with civil order breaking down in Gaza, the UN says it has been unable to pick up any supplies from Kerem Shalom since Tuesday.

Another complication is that “you often have to cross battlefields”, said William Schomburg, ICRC’s chief in Rafah, near Egypt.

Israel says it has let supplies in and called on agencies to step up deliveries.

For Umm Mohammad Zamlat, 66, displaced to Khan Yunis in southern Gaza, the result is painfully simple: “We don’t see any aid.”  — AFP