Israeli forces intensify attacks in Shujayea as Gaza death toll rises

Soldiers advance in Gaza City neighbourhood as UN says at least 60,000 Palestinian residents displaced.

The Israeli military has said its troops are intensifying operations in the Shujayea neighbourhood east of Gaza City and “fighting simultaneously above and below ground”.

In a situational update on Saturday, it claimed troops had eliminated “a large number of terrorists” over the past day and located a weapons storage facility within a school compound.

It said the air force also struck “terror targets and armed terrorist cells, including a terrorist cell that was on its way to fire at troops”.

The Israeli military earlier issued a statement requiring residents in Shujayea and adjacent areas to move southwards along the arterial Salah al-Din Street, which crosses the length of the enclave.

Reporting from Deir el-Balah in central Gaza, Al Jazeera’s Hind Khoudary said Israeli forces targeted a group of Palestinians in Gaza City trying to fill water containers at a distribution point.

“Four Palestinians from the same family, the al-Ghazi family, were killed in this shelling. Among them was a child,” she said.

“We saw a video online showing the child in the arms of his father, covered with blood, lying on the ground before the paramedics were able to go and transfer them to the hospital.”

At least 60,000 displaced: UN

United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the new Israeli offensive in Shujayea has forced the displacement of “at least 60,000” residents.

“Humanitarian partners are reporting new displacement … Yesterday, the Israeli military ordered people living in 28 residential blocks in areas east of Gaza City to immediately evacuate … at least 60,000 people were displaced from this area, which spans over seven square kilometres [2.7 square miles]”, Dujarric said.

Meanwhile, the Israeli army said its troops were continuing its intelligence-based operation in Rafah in southern Gaza and had “eliminated numerous terrorists in the area” over the past day.

In central Gaza, the army said it “eliminated numerous terrorists” on the ground, and the air force had struck “several anti-tank missile posts”.

Two projectiles were also identified crossing from Gaza into Israel’s Sderot – the Aerial Defense Array intercepted one, and the other fell into an open area.

Dujarric also said that a military operation in the area of al-Mawasi in southern Gaza, designated a “safe zone” by Israel, resulted in many casualties and the displacement of at least 5,000 people.

At least two people were killed in an Israeli bombing near al-Istiqama Mosque in the al-Jnaina neighbourhood east of Rafah, sources told Al Jazeera.

A number of others were injured when Israeli forces opened fire in the vicinity of al-Alam roundabout, west of Rafah.

On Saturday, Gaza’s Ministry of Health said at least 37,834 people have been killed and 86,858 wounded in Israel’s war on Gaza since October 7.

The updated death toll included 40 Palestinians killed and 224 wounded in the past 24-hour reporting period, it said.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies