More than 270 killed in Israeli massacre in Nuseirat

AFP , AP , Ahram Online , Sunday 9 Jun 2024

The number of victims from the Israeli occupation forces' massacre in the Nuseirat camp has risen to 270 people killed and more than 700 wounded, the Palestinian Health Ministry said Sunday.

Palestinians evacuate with their belongings following an operation by the Israeli Special Forces in the Nuseirat camp, in the central Gaza Strip, June 2024.AFP


The death toll includes 64 children and 57 women, the ministry said.

Medics described scenes of horror and chaos as wounded people poured into nearby hospitals that were already struggling to treat the wounded from days of heavy Israeli strikes in the area.

“We had the gamut of war wounds, trauma wounds, from amputations to eviscerations to trauma, to TBIs (traumatic brain injuries), fractures, and obviously, big burns,” said Karin Huster of Doctors Without Borders, an international charity working in the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, one of the facilities that received dead and wounded.

“Kids completely grey or white from the shock, burnt, screaming for their parents. Many of them are not screaming because they are in shock.”

In Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, Palestinians described coming under intense bombardment and heavy gunfire.

Near Nuseirat on Saturday, an AFP photographer saw scores of Palestinians running for cover in fear of further Israeli strikes.


Nuseirat resident Khalil Al-Tahrawi described hearing gun battles and shelling from his shelter.

"The Israeli warplanes began bombing us in all directions to cover up the withdrawal process," he said.

The attack came days after an Israeli strike on the Nuseirat school run by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, which a Gaza hospital said had killed 37 people.

UNRWA condemned Israel for striking a facility it said had been housing 6,000 displaced people.

​Israel's relentless bombardment and ground invasion in Gaza has killed more than 36,801 Palestinians, mostly women and children.

Israel announced its forces rescued four captives on Saturday from the camp.

The Israeli occupation army said the four, who were in "good medical condition", had been captured from the Nova music festival during October 7 events.

The captives are among seven that Israeli forces have freed alive since Palestinian resistance fighters seized 251 people in October.

After the operation, piles of smouldering rubble and chunks of concrete clogged the streets.

Israeli police said an officer was mortally wounded during the operation.

There are now 116 captives remaining in Gaza, including 41 the army says are dead.

Horror must stop

The Israeli brutal war has brought widespread devastation to Gaza, with one in 20 people dead or wounded, according to the Palestinian health ministry. Most of Gaza's 2.4 million inhabitants are displaced.

Aid groups and the United Nations have also accused Israel of blocking or delaying the entry of food, water, medicines and fuel into Gaza, depriving people of lifesaving supplies.

UN chief Antonio Guterres said on Saturday that 135 UNRWA workers have been killed in the war, the highest number of UN personnel killed in a single conflict.

"This horror must stop," he said.


Netanyahu's maniplulation

US President Joe Biden reiterated his call for a ceasefire while welcoming news of the Israel's freed captives.

Israel faces growing diplomatic isolation, with international court cases accusing it of war crimes and several European countries recognizing a Palestinian state.

Thousands of people marched through London on Saturday calling for a ceasefire, while demonstrators outside the White House protested against Washington's support for Israel amid Gaza's deadliest-ever war.

Efforts to mediate the first ceasefire in the conflict since a week-long pause in November appear to have stalled after Biden offered the latest plan for a multi-phase truce and captives release.

Major sticking points include Hamas insisting on a permanent truce and full Israeli withdrawal from all parts of Gaza -- demands Israel has rejected.

Pressure has been growing on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to agree to a ceasefire in Gaza with some calling on him to resign over his failure to bring the remaining captives.

Hamas has accused Netanyahu of "personally hindering" efforts to reach a truce due to "personal interests," saying that it will not release all the captives until Israel ends its offensive.

In an interview with Time Magazine, US President Joe Biden conceded that there is “every reason” to believe that Netanyahu is dragging out the war.

Netanyahu also faces pressure from within his government to end the war, with war cabinet minister Benny Gantz threatening to quit.

Gantz canceled a news conference scheduled for Saturday where Israeli media had speculated he would announce his resignation.

In brief remarks on Israeli television, Gantz on Saturday evening urged his colleagues in government to "look responsibly" into "how we can continue from here".

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Saturday called on Hamas to accept the latest truce proposal outlined by Biden at the start of the month.

Blinken is set to visit Israel and key regional partners Egypt, Jordan and Qatar from Monday.



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