At a funeral held Monday in Gaza, A line of Palestinians touched the white shrouds containing the bodies of at least 70 people whoaccording to Palestinian health authorities, died in an airstrike Israeli directed against Maghazi, in the center of the besieged strip.
It was one of the deadliest nights in the enclave in the 11 weeks that the battle between Israel and Hamas has lasted.
“The walls and curtains fell on us,” said one man. “I reached out to my four-year-old son, but all I found were stones.”
The attacks that began hours before midnight persisted until Monday. The Palestinian media stated that Israel intensified air and ground bombardments in central Gaza.
Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qidra said many of those killed in Maghazi were women and children. Another eight people were killed when Israeli planes and tanks carried out dozens of airstrikes against houses and roads in nearby al-Bureij and al-Nusseirat, health officials said.
According to doctors, an Israeli airstrike in Khan Younis, southern Gaza, It caused 23 deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to more than 100. Palestinians during the night.
Pope Francis said in his Christmas message on Monday that children who die in wars, including the one in Gaza, are the “little Jesuses of today” and that Israeli attacks were reaping a “hideous harvest” of innocent civilians.
Part of Gaza’s small Christian community took a break from conflict and suffering to celebrate Christmas. Several residents pleaded on social media for shelter, as they had become homeless after abandoning their homes in Bureij.
“I have 60 people at home, people who arrived believing that central Gaza was safe. Now we are looking for a place to reach,” said Odeh, a resident of the refugee camps.
The Israeli military said it was reviewing the Maghazi incident report and was committed to minimizing harm to civilians.. Hamas denies the Israeli accusation that it is operating in densely populated areas and using civilians as human shields.
The Palestinian Red Crescent released images of injured residents being taken to hospitals. He claimed that Israeli warplanes were bombing the main roads, blocking the passage of ambulances. and emergency vehicles.
In his “Urbi et Orbi” (To the city and the world) speech on Christmas Day, Francis also described as “abominable” the attack carried out on October 7 by Hamas militants against Israel. and once again requested the release of a hundred hostages held in Gaza.
Hamas and its ally Islamic Jihad, who have sworn Israel’s destruction, are believed to be holding more of 100 hostages of the 240 they captured during their assault on Israeli cities on October 7, when they killed 1,200 people.
Since then, Israel has laid siege to the narrow Gaza Strip and razed much of it. Nearly 20,700 people have been killed by Israeli airstrikes, 250 of them in the last 24 hours, authorities in Hamas-ruled Gaza reported on Monday. Thousands more are believed to be dead under the rubble.
The vast majority of Gaza’s 2.3 million inhabitants have been expelled from their homes, and the United Nations says conditions are catastrophic.
Since a week-long truce was called off at the beginning of the month, fighting on the ground has only intensified, the war spreading from the north to the entire length of the densely populated strip.
The Israeli army reported on Monday that two of its soldiers died in the last day, bringing the death toll to 158 since ground operations began on October 20.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told lawmakers from his Likud party that the war is far from over and rejected what he called media speculation that his government could end fighting against Hamas in the enclave.
YoIsrael has received pressure from its closest ally, the United States, so that it moves to a phase of lower intensity and reduces the death of civilians.
On Saturday, the Israeli chief of staff declared that his forces have largely achieved operational control in northern Gaza and would expand their operations in the south. Nevertheless, Residents say fighting has only intensified in the northern districts.
Diplomatic efforts, mediated by Egypt and Qatar, to achieve a new truce to free the hostages held in Gaza, have yielded few public results, although Washington described last week’s talks as “very serious.”