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Israel Conducts Air, Ground Attacks in Central, Southern Gaza


Palestinian Red Crescent personnel check a destroyed ambulance in Deir el-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, on Jan. 11, 2024.
Palestinian Red Crescent personnel check a destroyed ambulance in Deir el-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, on Jan. 11, 2024.

Israel’s military on Thursday carried out air and ground attacks in the central and southern Gaza Strip, while the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said Israeli attacks overnight killed dozens of people.

The Gaza health ministry said the more than 60 dead included people killed in Israeli airstrikes on Khan Younis, the southern city that is the second-largest in the Gaza Strip.

Later Thursday, the Palestinian Red Crescent humanitarian group said nine people were killed in an Israeli bombardment on a house in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

The Israeli military also led journalists on a tour of an underground tunnel in Khan Younis where it said there was evidence that hostages had been present.

Israel did not identify any of the hostages or give information about their fate, saying that the evidence it discovered included DNA.

Hamas killed about 1,200 people in its October 7 attack on Israel and captured 240 hostages, about half of whom have since been released.

The Gaza health ministry says Israel’s counteroffensive has killed more than 23,300 Palestinians. Vast swaths of Gaza have been left in rubble and 85% of its population of 2.3 million displaced.

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on Thursday said nearly 200 Gazan evacuees had arrived in Turkey.

The 85 patients and 106 companions were part of a seventh round of evacuations, Koca said, adding that patients would receive medical treatment in the capital, Ankara.

"Our efforts in Gaza, where the health system has collapsed, will continue," Koca said in a post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday that aid agencies are facing “nearly insurmountable challenges” in delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza.

“We have the supplies, the teams and the plans in place. What we don’t have is access,” Tedros said as he called for Israel’s help in facilitating requests to make aid deliveries.

The White House echoed those concerns Thursday, with White House national security spokesperson John Kirby affirming that not enough aid trucks were getting into Gaza.

"There's a lot of hunger and starvation in Gaza," he said.

Some material for this report came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.

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