Israeli troops battle militants throughout north Gaza, which has been with out energy or water for weeks

DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip — Israeli troops battled Palestinian militants in an city refugee camp and outdoors a close-by hospital Tuesday as the military expanded operations throughout northern Gaza, the place residents have been with out electrical energy or dependable entry to water, meals and different fundamentals for weeks.

The entrance line of the conflict, now in its seventh week, shifted to the Jabaliya refugee camp, a dense warren of concrete buildings close to Gaza City that homes households displaced within the 1948 conflict surrounding Israel‘s creation. Israel has bombarded the realm for weeks, and the army stated Hamas fighters have regrouped there and in different jap districts after being pushed out of a lot of Gaza City.

Fighting has additionally intensified outdoors the close by Indonesian Hospital, the place Palestinian well being officers stated a strike killed 12 folks Monday. They stated Tuesday that lots of of sufferers and displaced individuals are trapped inside with dwindling provides after some 200 have been evacuated the day earlier than.

Senior Hamas officers, in the meantime, stated they have been near reaching a deal by means of worldwide mediators to launch among the estimated 240 folks taken hostage by the group in its Oct. 7 assault into Israel that triggered the conflict. The talks have repeatedly stalled and previous predictions of a breakthrough proved untimely.

In southern Lebanon, an Israeli strike killed two journalists with Al-Mayadeen TV, in keeping with the Pan-Arab community and Lebanese officers. There was no fast remark from the Israeli army, which has repeatedly traded hearth with the Hezbollah militant group for the reason that outbreak of the conflict.

The conflict has exacted a heavy toll on Palestinian civilians, significantly those that stay within the north after Israel repeatedly known as on folks to flee south.

PHOTOS: Israeli troops battle militants throughout north Gaza, which has been with out energy or water for weeks

It’s unclear what number of stayed behind, however the U.N. company for Palestinian refugees estimates that some 160,000 individuals are nonetheless in its shelters there, though it’s not capable of present providers. Some 1.7 million Palestinians, about three-fourths of Gaza‘s population, have fled their homes, many packing into U.N.-run schools and other facilities across the territory’s south.

As shelters have overflowed, folks have been pressured to sleep on the streets outdoors, at the same time as winter rains have pelted the coastal enclave in current days. There are shortages of meals, water and gas for mills throughout all of Gaza, which has had no central electrical energy for over a month.

Israel continues to strike what it says are militant targets all through Gaza, together with within the southern evacuation zone, usually killing girls and kids, and officers have indicated it could quickly broaden its operations within the south.

Israel‘s military said forces are “preparing the battlefield” in the area of Jabaliya, saying they struck three tunnel shafts where fighters were hiding and destroyed rocket launchers. Footage released by the military showed Israeli soldiers patrolling on foot as gunfire echoed around them.

Residents said there had been heavy fighting as Israeli forces tried to advance under the cover of airstrikes. “The (Israeli) occupation is trying to besiege the camp,” said Hamza Abu Mansour, a university student. “They are facing stiff resistance.”

It was not possible to independently confirm details of the fighting.

In the face of airstrikes and advancing Israeli troops, tens of thousands of Palestinians in the north had sheltered in hospitals, but those have steadily been emptied as the fighting reached their gates, and most are no longer operational.

The hospital situation in Gaza is “catastrophic,” Michael Ryan, a senior World Health Organization official, said Monday. In the north, “it is the worst you can imagine.”

Munir al-Boursh, a senior Health Ministry official who said he was inside the Indonesian Hospital, told Al-Jazeera television by phone that Israeli forces had besieged it, forcing health workers to bury 50 bodies in the courtyard. There was no immediate comment from the Israeli military.

Palestinian officials said an Israeli shell struck the hospital on Monday, killing 12 people. Israel denied shelling the hospital, but said its troops returned fire on militants who targeted them from inside.

Up to 600 wounded people and some 2,000 displaced Palestinians remain stranded at the hospital, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.

An analogous standoff performed out in current days at Shifa Hospital, Gaza‘s largest, where over 250 patients and medical workers are stranded after the evacuation of 31 premature babies.

Israel has provided evidence in recent days of a militant presence at Shifa. But it has yet to substantiate its claims that Hamas had a major command center beneath the facility, allegations denied by Hamas and hospital staff.

More than 12,700 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry in the West Bank. Officials there say another 4,000 are missing. Their counts do not differentiate between civilians and combatants. Israel says it has killed thousands of militants.

The ministry bases its count on information gathered by its counterpart in Hamas-ruled Gaza, which has been unable to fully update casualty figures for more than 10 days because of the breakdown in services and communications in the north.

About 1,200 people have been killed on the Israeli side, mainly civilians during the Oct. 7 attack. The military says 68 Israeli soldiers have been killed in Gaza ground operations.

Israel, the United States and Qatar, which mediates with Hamas, have negotiated for weeks over a hostage release that would be paired with a temporary cease-fire and the entry of more aid.

Izzat Rishq, a senior Hamas official, said Tuesday that an agreement could be reached “in the coming hours,” in which Hamas would release captives and Israel would release Palestinian prisoners. Hamas‘ leader-in-exile, Ismail Haniyeh, also said they were close to a deal.

Israel‘s war Cabinet met with representatives of the hostages’ households Monday night. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed households the federal government considers the discharge of hostages and the defeat of Hamas to be equally essential, in keeping with a relative who attended.

Udi Goren, whose cousin Tal Chaimi is in captivity in Gaza, stated that was “incredibly disappointing,” as Israel has stated it may take months to dismantle the militant group.

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