Israel intensifies attacks in Jabaliya as fighting with Hamas returns to north Gaza

Ahram Online , Monday 13 May 2024

Israeli tanks, under cover of heavy fire from air and ground, have pushed further into Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza on Monday, as fighting returned in the north where Hamas fighters have regrouped in areas Israel claimed it had cleared months ago.

File Photo: Palestinians fleeing advancing Israeli tanks in north Gaza last winter. AFP


Residents said tank shells were landing at the centre of the camp and airstrikes had destroyed clusters of houses, according to Reuters.

The Israeli forces surrounded and stormed shelter centres, forcing hundreds of displaced people to head west of Gaza City, media reports said.

Al Jazeera reported that Israeli forces were firing on ambulances trying to reach injured people as Israeli airstrikes hit crowded residential areas within the refugee camp.

Israeli jets are bombing block 2 and block 4 of the camp, according to the outlet.

Meanwhile, Palestinian health officials said they had recovered 20 bodies of Palestinian people killed in the overnight Israeli airstrikes on Jabaliya, while dozens were reported injured.

“It was a very difficult night,” said Abdel-Kareem Radwan, a 48-year-old from Jabaliya told AP. He said they could hear intense and constant bombing since midday Saturday. “This is madness.”

Residents said Israeli warplanes and artillery also struck the Zeitoun area east of Gaza City, where troops have battled fighters for over a week.

They have called on thousands of people to relocate to nearby areas.

The Israeli army said on Sunday that it renewed assaults into northern Gaza, asserting that Hamas fighters are regrouping there.

Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the top Israeli military spokesman, said forces were also operating in the northern towns of Beit Lahiya and Beit Hanoun.

Hamas’ military wing said it shelled Israeli special forces east of Jabaliya.

The death toll from the Israeli genocidal war on Gaza has surpassed 35,000 with more than 79,000 wounded - most of whom are women and children.

Israel launched intensive strikes against north Gaza at the start of its war on the strip on 7 October.

Relentless airstrikes reduced much of Gaza City and refugee camps such as Jabaliya to rubbles, forcing hundreds of thousands to flee the northern strip south.

A deadly Israeli blockade on the north left the remaining population in the northern areas on the brink of famine.

In late 2023, the Israeli army declared "mission accomplished" in the north after claiming it had destroyed Hamas infrastructure in the region.

Amid recent truce talks mediated by Egypt, Qatar and the US, Hamas insisted that Israel must allow displaced Palestinians to return to their homes in northern Gaza to agree to a ceasefire. 

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