Israel strikes Khan Younis as war rages


The Gaza health authorities said that the Israeli army killed 23 Palestinians and wounded 91 others during the past 24 hours, bringing the total death toll in the strip to 37,900…report Asian Lite News

Five Palestinians were killed in an Israeli airstrike on a gathering in Gaza City, while the Israeli army urged residents of eastern Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip, to evacuate immediately.

Palestinian security sources told Xinhua that Israeli aircraft targeted the gathering on Al-Jala Street in Gaza City on Monday. Videos circulating on Facebook showed young people lying on the ground after the airstrike.

Medical sources reported that the airstrike resulted in the killing of five people and injuries to 10 others, all of whom were transported to the hospital.

The attack came after Israeli military spokesperson Avichay Adraee, in a post on social media platform X, urged residents and displaced persons in areas east of Khan Younis to evacuate immediately to the humanitarian zone, reports Xinhua news agency.

Also on Monday, the Gaza health authorities said in a press statement that the Israeli army killed 23 Palestinians and wounded 91 others during the past 24 hours, bringing the total death toll in the strip to 37,900 and injuries to 87,060 since the Palestinian-Israeli conflict broke out last October.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that his country is in “the final stage” of eliminating Hamas’ armed force in the Gaza Strip.

“We are advancing towards the completion of the elimination” of Hamas, he said on Monday during a meeting with cadets from Israel’s National Security College, according to a statement released by his office as reported by Xinhua news agency.

Netanyahu’s estimate came a day after he toured the Gaza division and held a security assessment meeting, with Defence Minister Yoav Gallant and the army’s senior command, on Israel’s nine-month-long offensive in Gaza, “with emphasis on the fighting in Rafah, as well as the continuation of military pressure on Hamas,” according to Netanyahu’s office.

On Monday, the Israel Defense Forces ordered a mass evacuation of civilians from the eastern Khan Younis, signalling that ground forces might soon resume their offensives in the southern Gazan city, presumably to fight Hamas forces that have regrouped in the area.

Israel completed a large-scale attack in Khan Younis in early April and subsequently withdrew most of its forces.

50 Gazan detainees freed

Around 50 Palestinian prisoners arrested during the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine were released on Monday, including the Director of Gaza’s largest hospital, Israeli sources confirmed.

An Israeli security official, speaking anonymously to Xinhua news agency, said that the prisoners were released from various Israeli facilities, including the military detention camp of Sde Teiman in the south, where many Palestinians arrested during the ongoing conflict were held.

The official noted that the release was part of an effort to reduce the number of detainees in Sde Teiman, which is running out of space.

Mohammed Abu Selmia, Head of the Al-Shifa Hospital, was among those released on Monday. He was detained by Israeli forces in November 2023 while travelling south from Gaza City following an Israeli military raid on the hospital.

In video footage widely circulated on social media, Abu Selmia is seen near a Red Crescent vehicle and being warmly welcomed upon his arrival in Gaza.

“The prisoners are enduring very difficult conditions, including a lack of food and water and physical humiliation,” he said in the video.

Abu Selmia also called for the release of all Palestinian prisoners due to the harsh detention conditions, stating that several Palestinian medical staff members died during detention due to torture and denial of basic medical care.

Israel conducted raids on the Al-Shifa hospital twice, in November 2023 and April 2024, claiming that the hospital had served as the headquarters of Hamas. The raids drew widespread criticism from the international community.

Abu Selmia’s release has sparked an uproar in Israel.

Internal Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, a far-right leader in charge of prisons, castigated the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, for approving the release and called for the dismissal of the Shin Bet Chief.

Opposition leader Yair Lapid also criticised the government over the release of Abu Selmia.

“The news this morning and the chaos in the government… is a direct continuation of the recklessness and dysfunction of the Israeli government, which is causing damage to the security of Israel’s citizens,” Lapid alleged.

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement, saying that the prisoners’ release followed an ongoing Supreme Court hearing in which human rights groups are challenging the harsh incarceration conditions.

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