Islamic Jihad members killed in West Bank raid, at least 10 killed in airstrikes in Gaza
Israeli commandos disguised as medical workers and Muslim women burst into a hospital in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday and killed three Palestinian militants, witnesses and authorities said.
The Israeli military said the three militants were killed in a joint undercover operation by the army, Shin Bet security service and border police in the Ibn Sina hospital in Jenin.
The Israeli military identified one of the slain men as Mohammed Jalamneh, 27, from Jenin, who it said had contacts with Hamas headquarters abroad and was planning an attack inspired by the Hamas rampage in southern Israel on Oct. 7.
The military said the two others, the brothers Basel Al-Ghazzawi and Mohammad Al-Ghazzawi, belonged to the Jenin Brigade and the armed wing of Islamic Jihad.
The Israeli military said this showed that militants were using civilian areas and hospitals as shelters and "human shields." Hamas has previously denied such allegations.
While the West Bank — an area that Palestinians envisage as part of a hoped-for independent state — had seen increased violence even before the outbreak of the Gaza war, the hospital raid could fuel a more intense phase of unrest.
CCTV footage from the hospital showed a group of about 10 people, dressed variously in civilian clothes and medical garb and including three in headscarves and women's clothing, pacing through a corridor, armed with assault rifles and moving into the hospital.
The hospital's director, Dr. Naji Nazzal said the Israeli team had entered the hospital at around 5.30 a.m. and made its way to the third floor, ringing the bell to enter the ward where the men were sleeping.
The Palestinian health ministry confirmed the deaths and called on the United Nations to guarantee protection for health centres.
"The occupation is committing a new massacre inside hospitals," it said in a statement.
Ceasefire negotiations ongoing
Palestinian officials say 26,637 people have been killed in the Israeli military response to Hamas-led attacks of Oct. 7, and at least 65,000 wounded.
Around 1,200 people were killed during the Hamas-led attacks, including several Canadians. Israeli officials said 253 others were taken hostage, with about 130 yet to return home.
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Several high-ranking Israeli officials were among the thousands at a conference calling for Israel to reclaim Gaza for Jewish settlements, including National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir who gave the keynote address. The gathering has garnered condemnation from around the world and from many Israelis.
Israel says its forces have killed around 9,000 Palestinian combatants in Gaza, and that 221 of its soldiers have been killed in the fighting.
In the northern Gaza Strip, Israeli forces fought battles with Hamas fighters that forced more Palestinian residents to flee to safer areas, and southern parts of the coastal enclave were hit by Israeli
The war has created a humanitarian crisis, with wide areas of Gaza flattened, hundreds of thousands of people left destitute, and supplies of food, water and medicines almost exhausted.
Israel mounted a new push in the north of Gaza after earlier reporting successes against Palestinian militants there. The militants' presence in the area suggests Israel's campaign to eradicate Hamas is not going to plan.
Hamas appears to have been able to regroup in Gaza City as the war, now in its fourth month, shows no sign of letting up despite international concern over the plight of civilians.
Much of Tuesday's action in Gaza was focused on the Beach refugee camp and near the Al-Shifa hospital, residents said. Israeli tanks broke into one shelter site and soldiers rounded up dozens of men.
Gaza residents flee
Residents and health officials also said an Israeli tank opened fire against dozens of Palestinians near Al-Kuwaiti Square on the southern edge of Gaza City where aid trucks unload their shipments, killing two people and wounding others.
The fighting caused new waves of people to flee within Gaza City and to the south towards Deir Al-Balah in the centre. Those leaving had to pass Israeli tanks stationed on the coastal road.
Heavy bombing also hit western and southern suburbs of Gaza.
In the south, Israeli forces kept up pressure in the city of Khan Younis, maintaining their encirclement of the two main hospitals.
The Gaza Health Ministry and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said patients, medical teams, and many of the displaced inside the two facilities were at risk because of continued Israeli fire.
Palestinian health officials said at least 10 Palestinians were killed in two separate Israeli airstrikes in Khan Younis and in Deir Al-Balah. They said the number could be bigger as rescue workers were searching for victims who might be trapped under the rubble.