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Israel in Khan Younès, fears of a «&nbsp

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A Palestinian child witnesses the discovery of victims of an Israeli bombing in Khan Younes.

Agence France-Presse

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The Israeli army said on Tuesday that it was battling Hamas in Khan Younes, a large city in the south of the besieged Gaza Strip, where the UN fears a “hellish scenario” for civilians, confined within a perimeter increasingly reduced.

Engaged since October 27 in a ground offensive against the Palestinian Islamist movement in the north of the Gaza Strip, the army has extended its ground operations to the entire territory, almost two months after the start of the war sparked by Hamas' bloody attack on Israel.

Since the resumption of fighting on December 1, when a seven-day truce expired, the army has tightened its grip on southern Gaza, where hundreds of thousands of civilians who took refuge during the first phase of the war are now forced to flee a few kilometers to try to escape the bombs and the fighting.

We are in the heart of Jabaliya, in the heart of Choujaiya [two localities in the north of Gaza] and now also in the heart of Khan Younes, Israeli General Yaron Finkelman, head of the southern command, said on Tuesday, estimating that he This is the most intense day since the start of the Israeli ground offensive.

The earth shook in Khan Younes and Jabaliya, said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Today we acted with immense power, he said.

Middle East, the eternal conflict

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Middle East, the eternal conflict

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Earlier, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the occupied Palestinian territories, Dr. Richard Peeperkorn, expressed concern that the situation was getting worse by the hour in Gaza.

We are close to the darkest hour of life ;humanity.

A quote from Dr. Richard Peeperkorn, head of WHO in the occupied Palestinian territories

On foot, on motorbikes, crammed into carts or their luggage piled on the roof of their car, many civilians continued to flee Tuesday from Khan Younès, the new epicenter of war, towards the neighboring town of Rafah, even further south, near the closed border with Egypt, according to AFP images.

The previous night, witnesses had reported to AFP airstrikes and artillery fire in the Khan Younes and Rafah sector as well as in Deir Al-Balah, further north, after the deployment of dozens of Israeli tanks and bulldozers in southern Gaza on Monday.

The overnight strikes left dozens dead in the Gaza Strip, according to Hamas. A bombing notably left 25 dead in a school in Khan Younes housing displaced people, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health.

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Palestinians search through the rubble of a building demolished by an Israeli raid in Khan Yunis.

The Israeli army drops leaflets on the city every day warning of an imminent bombardment, ordering residents to leave their neighborhoods . But the UN deemed it impossible to implement safe zones as designated by Israel.

On Tuesday, new scenes of chaos were repeated at the Nasser hospital in Khan Younes, the largest in the south of the Gaza Strip, where patients are treated on the ground.

To the sound of ambulance sirens, injured people were transported, sometimes lying in simple trailers or carried by their loved ones, according to AFP images.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">According to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), the hospital, short of staff and supplies, is home to more than 1,000 patients and 17,000 displaced people.

An even more hellish scenario is about to unfold, to which humanitarian operations may not be able to respond, the UN humanitarian coordinator has warned. the Palestinian territories, Canadian Lynn Hastings.

Jan Egeland, secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), said that the annihilation of Gaza now ranks among the worst attacks of our time against civilian populations.

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Funeral of victims of Israeli bombing in Khan Yunis , children and adolescents, have been killed since Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip began on October 7.

In Israel, ;attack carried out by Hamas commandos infiltrated from Gaza left 1,200 dead, mostly civilians, according to the authorities.

In retaliation, Israel declared war on Hamas and promised to destroy the Islamist movement in power in the Gaza Strip since 2007, classified as a terrorist organization by the United States , the European Union and Israel.

According to the Israeli government, 138 hostages kidnapped in Israel on October 7 are still being held in Gaza, after the release during the truce of 105 hostages, including 80 in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">Families of hostages again demanded on Tuesday an international mobilization to obtain their release on the 60th day of their captivity, marked by a new meeting with Benyamin Netanyahu, who repeated working for the return of everyone.

Bombings and fighting also raged in northern Gaza, where the army announced that it had taken control of important Hamas positions, whose armed wing continues to fire rockets towards Israel, the vast majority of which have been intercepted. /p>

The Israeli army, which now controls several sectors there, carried out operations in the Jabaliya region (north), the largest camp of Palestinian refugees from the territory, currently surrounded.

Eighty-two Israeli soldiers have been killed in Gaza since the start of Israeli operations, the army announced Tuesday evening.

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Israeli tank firing a shell near the Gaza Strip border

According to witnesses, dozens of strikes targeted several neighborhoods in Gaza City, forcing thousands of civilians to flee.

Maria Abou Assi, a young resident of Gaza City who survived a strike, told AFPTV that she was awakened by a bombing. I saw rubble and stones at me. surround […] I was in so much pain, explained the 14-year-old girl, who was pulled from the rubble after four days.

According to the UN, 1.8 million people, three-quarters of the population, have been displaced by the war in the Gaza Strip, where strikes have destroyed or damaged more than half of the homes.

The needs are immense in the territory subjected to a total siege by Israel since October 9, a siege which has caused serious shortages of water, food, medicine, electricity and fuel.

Humanitarian aid, with the exception of the seven days of truce, enters only sparsely from Egypt, subject to the green light from Israel.

The war in Gaza has also reignited tension on the border between Israel and Lebanon, where there are daily exchanges of fire between the Israeli army and Hezbollah Lebanese Shiite, ally of Hamas. On Tuesday, two people, including a soldier, were killed in Israeli strikes on southern Lebanon, according to the army and the official news agency.

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Israeli soldiers in the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.

In the occupied West Bank, also experiencing an intensification of violence, a Palestinian was killed Tuesday during an Israeli army operation, according to the Palestinian authorities and an NGO.

Since October 7, at least 255 Palestinians have been killed there by the Israeli army or settlers, according to the Palestinian Authority.

The United States announced on Tuesday the imposition of sanctions against Jewish settlers accused of attacks against Palestinians, in an attempt to stem the violence in Occupied West Bank.

Today, the State Department is implementing a new visa restriction policy. against people suspected of helping to undermine peace, security or stability in the West Bank, including by committing acts of violence against Palestinians, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

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