World

Gaza’s second-largest hospital ‘completely out of service’, health ministry says

STRIKES KILL DISPLACED IN RAFAH

Israel’s air and ground offensive has devastated much of Gaza and forced nearly all of its inhabitants from their homes. Palestinian health authorities say 28,985 people, mostly civilians, have been killed.

The war began when Hamas sent fighters into Israel on Oct 7, killing 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and seizing 253 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

Israel’s assault on Gaza began in the north and has moved south as Palestinians have fled, many crammed into tents around southern cities including Khan Younis and Rafah, the Gaza-Egypt border town which is the only crossing not controlled by Israel.

More than half of Gaza’s population has been pushed into Rafah and Israeli plans to storm the city have prompted international concern.

Israeli planes carried out attacks on two areas in Rafah on Sunday, including an empty building near the border with Egypt, local residents and Hamas media officials said.

The second of the two strikes hit an open space where displaced people were sheltering, killing six people, local medics said.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, embattled at home over the government’s failure to stop the Oct 7 attack and under pressure to get the remaining hostages released, on Saturday pledged to push on with the military campaign.

The Gaza war has destabilised the entire Middle East as Hamas’s military allies – all Iran-backed paramilitary groups – have targeted Israeli and US interests with missiles and drones.

Israel has also bombed southern Lebanon in a battle with Tehran-backed Hezbollah militants, and the Yemeni Houthi rebels have choked global trade passing through the Suez Canal and the Red Sea.


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