Israeli strikes kill dozens in refugee camp

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The Hamas-run health ministry said at least 70 people were killed in an Israeli air strike on Sunday at the Al-Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza.

Health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said the “toll is likely to rise” as many families were thought to be in the area at the time of the strike.

In a separate incident, the ministry said 10 members of one family were killed in an Israeli strike on their house in the Jabalia camp in northern Gaza.

Vast areas of Gaza lie in ruins and its 2.4 million people have endured dire shortages of water, food, fuel and medicine due to an Israeli siege, alleviated only by the limited arrival of aid trucks.

Eighty percent of Gazans have been displaced, according to the U.N., many fleeing south and now shielding against the winter cold in makeshift tents.

The head of the U.N. refugee agency, Filippo Grandi, urged an end to the suffering in the third month of the war.

“A humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza is the only way forward,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “War defies logic and humanity, and prepares a future of more hatred and less peace.”

And World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus similarly renewed calls for a ceasefire, saying: “The decimation of the Gaza health system is a tragedy.”

The Jordanian army said its air force had air dropped aid to about 800 people sheltering at the Church of Saint Porphyrius in northern Gaza.

 ‘No choice’ 

The war was exacting a “very heavy price”, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday, as the death toll of soldiers killed in the conflict continued to mount.

“But we have no choice but to keep fighting,” he said, adding: “This will be a long war.”

Another soldier was killed on Sunday, the army said, taking to 15 the number of troops killed since Friday and 154 since Israel’s ground assault began on October 27.

Israeli military spokesman Jonathan Conricus indicated that forces were close to gaining control in northern Gaza and that now “we focus our efforts against Hamas in southern Gaza”.

Two freed detainees and a medic said Sunday that Palestinians held by the Israeli army in the Gaza Strip had suffered torture, a charged denied by the military.

The two men were among hundreds detained by Israeli forces over alleged links with Hamas during Israel’s ground offensive.

About 20 men released from Israeli custody “have bruises and marks of blows on their bodies”, Marwan al-Hams, hospital director in the southern city of Rafah, told AFP.

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