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195 Palestinians killed in two rounds of Israeli strikes on Jabaliya refugee camp, claims Hamas

The airstrikes on Jabaliya refugee camp were condemned by the Un and several Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan. Israel claimed to have eliminate several Hamas militants in the area, as well as senior officials Muhammad A'sar and Ibrahim Biari.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Gaza Updated on: November 02, 2023 13:33 IST
Palestinians looking for survivors in Gaza's Jabaliya
Image Source : AP Palestinians looking for survivors in Gaza's Jabaliya refugee camp.

At least 195 Palestinians have been killed in two rounds of Israeli strikes on Tuesday and Wednesday on the Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, claimed a Hamas-run government media office. Israel has claimed to have eliminated several Hamas officials in both attacks, according to the Guardian.

Earlier, Gaza's Hamas-run Interior Ministry on Tuesday said that dozens were killed as Israeli airstrikes struck the Jabaliya refugee camp. Several people are believed to be trapped under rubble. Residents said that the ground began to collapse after the strike and buildings fell into sinkholes.

The strikes were condemned by Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The Egyptian foreign ministry described the airstrikes as “inhumane,” and as a “blatant violation of international law,” and warned of the consequences of “indiscriminate attacks on civilians in and around hospitals, where they seek refuge.”

Saudi Arabia expressed its “complete rejection of the Israeli occupation forces’ repeated targeting of sites crowded with civilians.”

Meanwhile, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) claimed to have killed the commander of Hamas' anti-tank missile array, Muhammad A'sar, in an airstrike on Gaza, reports the Times of Israel. The military said that he was "responsible for all of Hamas’s anti-tank missile units throughout the Gaza Strip, commanded the units in routine times and assisted their activity in emergencies".

Earlier, the IDF had claimed to have killed top Hamas commander Ibrahim Biari, who had allegedly directed the brutal surprise attack on Israel on October 7.

Strike on refugee camp can amount to war crimes: UN

Meanwhile, the United Nations' human rights office expressed "serious concerns" that the devastating attacks on the Jabaliya refugee camp could amount to war crimes.

"Given the high number of civilian casualties & the scale of destruction following Israeli airstrikes on Jabalia refugee camp, we have serious concerns that these are disproportionate attacks that could amount to war crimes," it said on social media platform X.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that he was "appalled over the escalating violence in Gaza" including the killing of Palestinian civilians in the Jabaliya refugee camp. “He condemns in the strongest terms, any killings of civilians,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told mediapersons on Wednesday.

However, the IDF maintained that there were no refugees in Jabaliya and that the area was the "permanent residence" of Palestinians. "Jabalya is the permanent residence of Palestinians under Palestinian rule. No refugees there, just as my grandparents from Morocco and Poland who fled to Israel in 1948 are no longer refugees," said IDF spokesperson Jonathan Conricus.

Bolivia cuts diplomatic ties with Israel

Meanwhile, Bolivia’s government severed diplomatic relations with Israel on Tuesday, accusing it of carrying out “crimes against humanity” in Gaza, and Chile and Colombia recalled their ambassadors to Israel as they criticized the Israeli military offensive against Hamas terrorists.

“Bolivia decided to break diplomatic relations with the State of Israel in repudiation and condemnation of the aggressive and disproportionate Israeli military offensive taking place in the Gaza Strip,” Freddy Mamani, Bolivia’s deputy foreign minister, said at a news conference.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday slammed Colombia and Chile for recalling their ambassadors and for not condemning the Hamas attack on October 7. Notably, Jordan has also recalled its ambassador, to which Israel responded by saying that it "regrets" the action.

Rafah border crossing opens

On Wednesday, at least 335 dual nationals and 76 injured Gazans seriously wounded and sick people crossed the Rafah border crossing from Gaza to Egypt, with more expected to follow.

US President Joe Biden cheered regional partners for their help in paving the way for some wounded Palestinians and foreign nationals, including some US citizens, to escape Gaza.

“I personally spent a lot of time speaking with Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel and President Sissi of Egypt and others, to make sure that we could open this access for people to get out,” Biden said during a visit Wednesday to Minneapolis.

He also called for a humanitarian pause in Gaza, so as to "give time to get the prisoners out". Biden's latest stance represents a subtle departure from the US' initial stance since the war broke out, as they have previously rejected calls for a ceasefire.

More than 8,800 Palestinians have been killed in the war, mostly women and minors, and more than 22,000 people have been wounded, the Palestinian Health Ministry said Wednesday, without providing a breakdown between civilians and fighters. Palestinian militants also abducted around 240 people during their incursion and have continued firing rockets into Israel.

(with inputs from agencies)

ALSO READ | US President Biden calls for 'humanitarian pause' amid calls for ceasefire between Israel, Hamas


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