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Fighting continues around Gaza hospitals amid resumption of ceasefire talks | Radio-Canada News


Israeli strikes killed 77 Palestinians in Gaza in the past 24 hours, health authorities said Sunday, as Egypt hosted an Israeli delegation for a new round of talks aimed at securing a truce with the leaders of the Hamas in Gaza.

The Israeli military said it had killed a senior member of Islamic Jihad – a militant group and ally of Hamas – in a strike on a command center in the courtyard of Al-Aqsa Hospital in central Gaza.

“The command center and terrorists were struck with precision, aiming to minimize damage to uninvolved civilians in the hospital area,” the army said. “The Al-Aqsa Hospital building was not damaged and its operation was not affected.”

There was no immediate comment from Islamic Jihad.

Palestinian health officials and Hamas media said the strike hit several tents inside Al-Aqsa hospital, killing four people and injuring several, including five journalists.

Palestinians and local media survey the damage at a makeshift camp for displaced people.
Journalists and others survey the damage at a makeshift camp for displaced people outside Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza, on Sunday. (AFP/Getty Images)

More than 32,000 Palestinians have been killed during the Israeli military offensive in Gaza since October 7, according to the territory’s health authorities.

The war erupted after Hamas-led militants crossed the border and rampaged through communities in southern Israel, killing 1,200 people and taking 253 hostages, according to Israeli counts.

The two sides intensified negotiations, mediated by Qatar and Egypt, on a six-week suspension of the Israeli offensive in exchange for the proposed release of 40 of the 130 hostages still held by Hamas militants in Gaza after their October 7 attack in southern Israel. .

Hamas has sought to turn any agreement into an end to fighting and the withdrawal of Israeli forces. Israel has ruled out the possibility, saying it would eventually resume efforts to dismantle Hamas’ government and military capabilities.

Hamas would not be present at the Cairo talks, an official told Reuters on Sunday, as he awaited word from mediators on whether a new Israeli offer was on the table.

In the town of Khan Younis, in the south of the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces continued to blockade the two main hospitals and tanks bombarded areas in the center and east of the territory.

Palestinian health officials said an Israeli airstrike killed nine people in Bani Suhaila, near Khan Younis, while another airstrike killed four people in the Al-Maghazi camp in the center from the Gaza Strip.

New fighting reported at Gaza’s largest hospital

In Gaza City, Israeli forces continued to operate inside Al-Shifa hospital, the largest in the territory, the Health Ministry said. Residents living nearby said residential neighborhoods were destroyed by Israeli forces near Al-Shifa.

“I went out to buy medicine at a pharmacy and what I saw was heartbreaking. Entire streets with buildings there had been destroyed,” said Abu Mustafa, 49.

“It’s not a war, it’s a genocide,” he told Reuters by telephone from Gaza City.

Like the rest of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents, Mustafa, a father of six, struggles to feed his family in the north of the enclave, where the United Nations has warned famine is imminent.

“We have had enough; we sleep and wake up dreaming of a ceasefire that will end the war and preserve the lives of all those who remain in Gaza,” he said.

The Israeli military said forces operating in Al-Shifa killed gunmen barricading the area and found weapons.

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Israel’s war in Gaza has crippled medical care in the territory, and even if the war were to end now, the fatal consequences are expected to last for years, according to a report from the British Foreign Office.

“Several complexes used to launch anti-tank missiles and where snipers operated were hit by (Israeli Air Force) planes” in the Rimal neighborhood near Shifa, the army said .

He added that forces killed 15 gunmen in the central Gaza Strip and several in Khan Younis, including near Al-Amal hospital.

Israel said it killed and arrested hundreds of Hamas and Islamic Jihad gunmen in Al-Shifa in a raid. Hamas and medical personnel deny any armed presence inside medical facilities, accusing Israel of killing and arresting civilians.

As part of the peace talks, Hamas also wants the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians displaced from Gaza City and its surrounding areas to the south during the first stage of the war to be allowed to return to the north.

The World Court on Thursday unanimously ordered Israel, accused by South Africa of the genocide in Gaza, to take all necessary and effective measures to ensure the basic food supply of the population.


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