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Hamas calls for increase in attacks on Israel tomorrow

Hamas has called for an escalation of protests and attacks against Israel in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem tomorrow, the first Friday in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

“We call upon our revolution youth, the brigades of resistance in all of the West Bank, in the neighbourhoods of Jerusalem to rise in massive rallies,” the militant group which runs Gaza said.

The statement comes after Israeli fire killed six people and wounded dozens of others as crowds waited for aid trucks in Gaza City, according to health ministry officials.

People were rushing to get supplies at Kuwait roundabout in northern Gaza City yesterday evening when Israeli forces opened fire, residents and health officials said.

The Israeli military did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the incident.

The conflict in Gaza has displaced most of the enclave’s 2.3 million population and there have been chaotic scenes and deadly incidents at aid distributions as desperately hungry people scramble for food.

On 29 February, Palestinian health authorities said Israeli forces shot dead more than 100 Palestinians as they waited for an aid delivery near Gaza City.

Israel blamed the deaths on crowds that surrounded aid trucks, saying victims had been trampled or run over.

In Al-Nuseirat camp in central Gaza, Palestinian health officials said eight people died in an Israeli air strike that hit an aid distribution centre today.

In Deir Al-Balah in central Gaza, an Israeli missile struck a house, killing nine people, Palestinian medics said.

Residents said Israeli aerial and ground bombardments continued overnight on areas across the enclave including in Rafah in the south, where over a million displaced people are sheltering.

A man walks through the rubble in Deir-el-Balah, central Gaza

The war began when Hamas fighters attacked Israel on 7 October, killing 1,200 people and seizing 253 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

Israel then launched an air, sea, and ground assault that has killed at least 31,341 Palestinians, health authorities in Gaza said.

The Gaza health ministry said that Israeli military strikes across Gaza had killed 69 people and wounded 110 others in the past 24 hours.

With the war now in its sixth month, the United Nations has warned that at least 576,000 people in Gaza – one quarter of the population – are on the brink of famine and global pressure has been growing on Israel to allow more access to the enclave.

The EU’s humanitarian aid and crisis management chief, Janez Lenarcic, said there are already pockets of famine in Gaza and it could spread to the whole region.

He urged Israel to open more road routes to deliver aid to Gaza.

Israel denies obstructing deliveries into Gaza, blaming aid agencies for delays and accusing Hamas of diverting aid.

Hamas denies this and says Israel uses hunger as a weapon in its military offensive.

A ship carrying aid is approaching Gaza in a pilot trial of maritime delivery.

It is expected to be followed up by a US military effort to set up a dock on Gaza’s coast that will enable distribution of up to two million meals a day.

While welcoming aid ships, Palestinian and UN officials say maritime deliveries are not a substitute for sending supplies through land crossings.

There has also been more violence in Israel.

In the south of the country, at Beit Kama junction, one person was stabbed today.

Israeli police said the attacker was “neutralised” but gave no more details about their identity or condition.

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