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Deadly Israeli shelling reported near Gaza hospital

Israeli shelling near a southern Gaza hospital has killed 41 people over the past two days, the Palestinian Red Crescent said, after Israel stepped up its attacks in the centre and south of the besieged territory.

The UN humanitarian office said yesterday that an estimated 100,000 more displaced people had arrived in the already-teeming southern border city of Rafah in recent days following the intensification of fighting around Deir al-Balah and Khan Yunis.

The extra displacements came as Egyptian officials prepared to receive a high-level Hamas delegation in Cairo today for talks on a new proposal aimed at putting an end to nearly three months of war that has devastated Gaza.

The Palestinian Red Crescent yesterday condemned what it said was Israeli shelling near the Al-Amal hospital in Khan Yunis that “led to the martyrdom of ten people and the injury of at least 21 others”, adding the attack followed one in front of the hospital the day before that killed 31.

“Among the casualties are individuals present in front of the hospital and displaced persons seeking shelter at the PRCS (Red Crescent) premises,” the group said in a statement.

Later in the day, Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry said Israeli shelling had killed 20 people, most of them women and children, at the Shaboura camp in Rafah, on the southern border with Egypt.

AFP footage from the city showed bloodied people being rushed through the streets to the nearby Kuwaiti hospital, where medical staff raced to treat a flood of wounded patients, including children. AFP could not immediately confirm whether they were victims of the same strike.

The war in Gaza, which started with Hamas’s 7 October attack on Israel, has left much of the territory’s north in ruins, while the battlefront has shifted ever further to the south.

Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas in retaliation for the attack, which left about 1,140 people dead, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures.

Around 250 hostages were also taken during the attack, more than half of whom remain captive – a source of intense anxiety for their families, who protested in Jerusalem on Thursday with the demand to “bring them home”.

Israel’s relentless aerial bombardment and ground invasion in Gaza have killed at least 21,320 people, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

The Israeli army says 167 of its soldiers have been killed inside Gaza in its fight against Hamas, which Israel, the United States and the European Union consider a “terrorist” group.

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