Saturday , February 24 2024

Israeli attacks on southern Gaza reach ‘new depths’


JERUSALEM: Israel’s “indiscriminate bombardment” of Palestinian civilians in southern Gaza has reached “new depths”, Norwegian Refugee Council chief warns.

Israel ramps up attacks across the Gaza Strip, including around hospitals and in the south of besieged enclave.

The Palestine Red Crescent says it lost contact with its teams after telecommunication services cut off in Gaza amid intensified Israeli bombings.

At least 15,899 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since October 7. In Israel, the official death toll stands at about 1,200.

Telecommunication services have been cut off in the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian telecoms company Paltel has said, as Israel intensifies its assault on the besieged territory.

“We regret to announce the complete cessation of the communications and Internet services with the Gaza strip, as the main paths that were previously reconnected were disconnected again,” Paltel said in a statement on Monday.

Cybersecurity watchdog NetBlocks confirmed that the “near-total internet blackout” would be “experienced as a total loss of communications by most residents”.

The announcement came amid intense air strikes across Gaza as Israel expanded its assault on the besieged territory that began on October 7 after Hamas fighters from Gaza carried out an attack on southern Israel, killing 1,200 people, according to Israeli officials.

At least 15,899 people have been killed in the Israeli offensive, according to Palestinian authorities, and more than 75 percent of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents have been displaced.

The official Palestinian news agency WAFA said at least 50 people were killed in an Israeli air strike that hit two schools sheltering displaced people in the Daraj neighborhood of Gaza City, in northern Gaza.

WAFA reported that ambulances were struggling to reach the sites of the strikes to evacuate the victims due to the intensity of artillery shelling.

Media was not able to independently verify the report.

Israel’s military on Monday called for more evacuations in southern Gaza as it widened its offensive.

Israel ordered Palestinians to leave parts of southern Gaza’s main city, Khan Younis, but residents said that areas which they had been told to go to were also coming under fire.

Israeli troops and tanks also pressed the ground campaign in the south of the enclave after having largely gained control of the now-devastated north. “We are beginning to expand the ground manoeuvre to other parts of the Strip, with one goal to topple the Hamas terrorist group,” Brigadier-General Hisham Ibrahim told Army Radio. (Int’l News Desk)

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