Amid its war with Hamas terrorists, the Israel Defense Forces said they targeted several of the terror group’s top political and military leaders hiding underground in Gaza. Meanwhile, more than two days after the Israeli military stormed Gaza’s Al Shifa Hospital, it said it was still searching for evidence to back up its allegations that Hamas used the hospital as a command center. An official from the hospital told news agency Associated Press that 52 patients have died since fuel ran out.
At least 11,470 Palestinians have been killed since the war began, according to Palestinian health authorities. About 2,700 people are reported missing. Some 1,200 people have been killed in Israel, mostly during the initial attack, and around 240 were taken captive by terrorists in Gaza.
ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR: LATEST DEVELOPMENTS
Israel has targeted a number of Hamas’s underground locations in Gaza, where the terror group’s top political and military leaders were believed to be hiding. It was not immediately known if the strikes resulted in fatalities.
One strike targeted a tunnel where several senior Hamas commanders were hiding. The other strike targeted a tunnel where senior members of Hamas’s politburo were hiding, an Israeli military spokesperson was quoted by the Times of Israel as saying. The army further said the underground area was very heavily damaged.
Doctors at Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital, where the Israeli military carried out raids, said they were amputating the limbs of several patients to avoid infection and spoke of wounds festering with maggots. Meanwhile, the Israel Defense Forces said they were still looking for evidence to back up allegations that Hamas used the hospital as a command center.
According to the hospital authorities, 52 patients have died since fuel ran out at the hospital. More patients were on the verge of death as their wounds were “open with maggots coming out of them”, another doctor told the Qatar-run TV network. Though Israel delivered food and water to patients, doctors at the hospital said the amount was far too little for the nearly 7,000 people in the compound.
“We’re aware that the situation is dire,” Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, a military spokesperson was quoted by the Associated Press as saying.
Israel has issued a fresh warning to Palestinians in the southern city of Khan Younis to relocate west out of the line of fire and closer to humanitarian aid, in the latest indication that it plans to attack Hamas in south Gaza after subduing the north.
“We’re asking people to relocate. I know it’s not easy for many of them, but we don’t want to see civilians caught up in the crossfire,” Mark Regev, an aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told MSNBC on Friday.
Such a move could compel hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who fled south from the Israeli assault on Gaza City to relocate again, along with residents of Khan Younis, worsening a dire humanitarian crisis. Khan Younis has a population of more than 400,000.
At least five Palestinians were killed and two more were injured in an Israeli strike on a building in the occupied West Bank. Earlier, the Palestinian Red Crescent said its medics were dealing with five serious injuries from the blast, all of them men ranging from 19 to 25 years of age.
The West Bank, part of territory Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war, has seen a sharp surge in violence since the deadly attack on southern Israel by Hamas gunmen from Gaza last month.
Israel has announced it would allow for the first time “very minimal” daily shipments of fuel into Gaza for use by the UN and communications system. Aid agencies had earlier said the lack of fuel forced them to call off deliveries of basic necessities in the Gaza Strip. They warned of possible widespread starvation in the besieged enclave because of the lack of fuel and said most people in Gaza were without adequate food and clean water.
Israel earlier said it found the body of another hostage in a building adjacent to Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital. The hospital has been the focus of clashing narratives over who is to blame for the widespread suffering of Palestinian civilians during the war between Israel and Hamas.
Tanzania’s Foreign Ministry on Friday announced the death of 22-year-old Clemence Felix Mtenga, one of two Tanzanian agriculture interns believed kidnapped by Hamas terrorists on October 7.
The student and 21-year-old Joshua Loitu Mollel were working on cow farms not far from the Gaza Strip when he was taken hostage. They had arrived in Israel in mid-September.
Phone and internet services were partially being resumed across Gaza. The development came after fuel was delivered to restart generators that power the networks. Earlier, all communication services, including landline connection, mobile network and Internet connection had dropped due to a lack of fuel.
The next day, Israel agreed to allow two tanker trucks of fuel, equaling 60,000 liters (15,850 gallons), into the Gaza Strip each day. According to the US State Department, 10,000 liters of the daily intake will be used to power the enclave’s communications network.
On Friday, US military bases in Iraq and Syria were attacked by terrorists, injuring one soldier. Three strikes were launched on facilities using one-way attack drones. The three additional attacks on US military facilities in Iraq and Syria bring the total number of attacks on US and coalition military facilities in Iraq and Syria to at least 60 since October 17.
At least 59 service members have been injured, but the Pentagon has said all were minor injuries and those troops were able to return to duty. Earlier too, multiple one-way drones attacked Al Asad air base in Iraq but caused no injuries or infrastructure damage.