World

Hamas hounds Israeli forces in main Gaza cities

2024.02.04 09:08

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© Reuters. An Israeli cell artillery unit fires in the direction of Gaza, amid the continued battle between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, close to the Israel-Gaza border, in Israel, February 3, 2024. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

2/5

By Nidal al-Mughrabi, Bassam Masoud and Dan Williams

DOHA/GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) -Palestinian gunmen stored up assaults towards Israeli forces on Sunday in the Gaza Strip’s two main cities, weeks after they have been overrun by troops and tanks, in an indication Hamas nonetheless maintains some management forward of any potential truce.

Nearly 4 months into the struggle triggered by the Palestinian Islamist group’s lethal cross-border rampage in Israel, there was persistent combating in Gaza City in the north of the densely populated enclave, and in Khan Younis to the south.

At the weekly Israeli cupboard assembly, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated 17 of Hamas’ 24 fight battalions had been dismantled. The relaxation, he stated, have been largely in the southern Gaza Strip – together with Rafah, on the enclave’s Egyptian border.

“We’ll take care of them, too,” he stated, in line with a press release from his workplace. Hamas doesn’t publish its losses.

The prospect of a push into Rafah has piled strain on the tons of of 1000’s of Palestinian civilians who’ve fled their houses elsewhere and are sheltering there. It additionally worries Cairo, which has stated it won’t admit any inflow of Palestinian refugees in what it describes a bid to forestall any everlasting dispossession.

An Israeli official advised Reuters, nevertheless, that the navy would coordinate with Egypt, and search methods of evacuating a lot of the displaced folks northward, forward of any Rafah floor sweep.

Palestinians reported Israeli tank shelling and air strikes there, together with one which killed two ladies in a home.

As mourners bade farewell to the useless kids, a relative, Mohammed Kaloub, stated the air strike hit a room full of girls and youngsters in Rafah’s al-Salam neighborhood.

“There is no safe place in Gaza, from the wire fence to the wire fence (borders from north to south), there is no safe place,” he advised Reuters.

Palestinian well being officers stated eight folks have been killed in separate Israeli air strikes on Deir Al-Balah areas in the central Gaza Strip. Deir Al-Balah is the second metropolis in the enclave the place Israel has not but deployed tanks.

After conducting partial pullouts from Gaza City in the previous few weeks that enabled some residents to return and decide by means of the rubble, Israeli forces have been mounting incursions. Netanyahu described these on Sunday as “mopping-up operations”.

Before daybreak on Sunday, air strikes destroyed a number of multi-storey buildings, together with an Egyptian-funded housing undertaking, residents stated. The navy stated it killed seven Hamas gunmen in northern Gaza and seized weaponry. Israel’s Army Radio stated troops in the world have been attempting to penetrate two Hamas bunkers, a mission it stated might take two weeks amid clashes on the websites.

“Gaza City is being wiped out,” one resident who requested to not be named advised Reuters. “The (Israeli) pull-out was a ruse.”

‘NEUTRALISING’ TUNNELS

In Khan Younis, in a single day Israeli shelling killed three Palestinians, medics stated. Residents reported avenue combating raging in western and southern areas of the town, the place Israel stated a soldier was killed in a Palestinian assault on Saturday.

Troops in Khan Younis seized a Hamas compound and killed a number of gunmen, the navy stated. Netanyahu stated Israeli forces in the town have been “neutralising” Hamas tunnels that run all through Gaza, enabling gunmen to gap up and launch ambushes.

“This demands more time yet,” he advised his ministers.

Gaza well being authorities, who don’t differentiate between militants and civilians in their tallies, stated on Sunday greater than 27,300 Palestinians have been confirmed killed for the reason that struggle started. They say that 70% of these killed have been girls and youngsters. Thousands extra are feared misplaced amid the ruins.

Israel says it has killed some 10,000 gunmen in its marketing campaign to annihilate Hamas after the Oct. 7 assault by the group, which is sworn to Israel’s destruction. In the rampage, 1,200 folks have been killed and 253 taken hostage, in line with Israeli tallies.

More than 130 hostages are nonetheless in Gaza, and their attainable launch by Hamas is amongst points beneath dialogue in Egyptian- and Qatari-mediated negotiations, which are backed by the United States, to safe a truce.

Hamas has demanded an finish to the struggle. Israel guidelines that out however is open to a brief truce.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi hosted French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne in a gathering on Sunday that Sisi’s workplace stated emphasised Egypt’s collaborative efforts to ascertain a ceasefire and ship humanitarian assist to Gaza.

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