Israeli tanks fire on Gaza hospital, Hamas health ministry says

More than a million people are now crammed into Rafah, south of Khan Yunis, which abuts the Egyptian frontier

By AFP

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A picture taken from Rafah shows smoke billowing over Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip during Israeli bombardment on Monday. Photo: AFP
A picture taken from Rafah shows smoke billowing over Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip during Israeli bombardment on Monday. Photo: AFP

Published: Tue 23 Jan 2024, 7:56 PM

The health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said Tuesday the Israeli army fired directly at a hospital in the southern city of Khan Yunis, where civilians are caught amid heavy fighting.

"Israeli tanks are firing heavily on the upper floors of the specialised surgery building and the emergency building of Nasser hospital, dozens expected wounded," a ministry statement said.

The Israeli military did not immediately respond when asked by AFP about firing at the hospital.

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Khan Yunis has become the epicentre of fighting between Palestinian militants and Israeli soldiers, who have pressed south over nearly three months of their ground offensive.

The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees said one of its Khan Yunis shelters for displaced people "was hit during military operations" on Monday.

"At least six displaced people were killed and many more injured during intense fighting around our the shelter," UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini wrote Tuesday on X, formerly Twitter.

As Israeli troops press on, more than a million people are now crammed into Rafah, south of Khan Yunis, which abuts the Egyptian frontier.

The UN humanitarian agency described Tuesday the "indescribable pain" in Gaza where the death toll "climbs relentlessly".

"In Khan Yunis, fighting escalates, destroying civilian areas and claiming lives. Attacks on health care continue to rise," OCHA wrote on X.

At least 25,490 people have been killed during hostilities in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the latest toll from the Hamas-run Gaza's health ministry.

The war broke out with Hamas' unprecedented October 7 attacks, which resulted in the deaths of about 1,140 people in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

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