Dozens of people have been killed in an Israeli air raid on the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza, according to a medical official and Palestinian authorities in the besieged territory.
“More than 50 people have been killed,” Dr Atef al-Kahlout, director of the Indonesian Hospital, told Al Jazeera. He said the hospital was not yet able to provide the total number of casualties as it was still counting the victims.
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The health ministry in Gaza said more than 50 people were killed and scores of others wounded in the Israeli bombardment.
“More than 50 martyrs and around 150 wounded and dozens under the rubble, in a heinous Israeli massacre that targeted a large area of homes in Jabalia camp in the northern [Gaza] Strip,” a health ministry statement said.
An Isaeli military official confirmed an attack on the Jabalia refugee camp.
“There was a very senior Hamas commander in that area,” Israeli army spokesperson Richard Hecht told CNN. “We’re looking into it and we’ll be coming out with more data as we learn what happened there.”
In footage of the scene after the strike on Jabalia, residents can be seen standing around large craters in the earth and piles of rubble as rescuers scramble to locate survivors under collapsed buildings.
“I went and saw the destruction… homes buried under the rubble and body parts and martyrs and wounded in huge numbers,” 41-year-old Jabalia resident Ragheb Aqal told the news outlet AFP.
The attack comes as Israel continues to pummel the Gaza Strip in a relentless bombardment, which Palestinian authorities say has killed 8,525 people, including more than 3,500 children, since fighting began on October 7.
Israel launched the assault after Hamas, the armed group that governs Gaza, carried out a devastating attack on southern Israel, killing at least 1,400 people, most of them civilians, according to Israeli authorities.
Israel has also imposed a “complete siege” on Gaza, severely restricting access to water, electricity, food, and fuel for the strip’s more than 2.3 million residents. United Nations officials have said that more than half of Gaza’s population has been displaced by the fighting.
Israel has expanded its ground operations in Gaza in recent days, with tanks and infantry engaged in battles with Palestinian fighters around Gaza City in the northern section of the strip.