Israeli airstrikes kill at least 24 in Gaza City officials say


Israeli forces killed at least 24 Palestinians in three separate airstrikes early on Tuesday on Gaza City and the dead included a sister of Ismail Haniyeh, the chief of the militant Islamist Hamas group, Gaza health officials and medics said.

Israeli tanks also pressed deeper into western areas of Rafah in the south of the enclave overnight, blowing up homes, residents said.

Two of the Israeli airstrikes hit two schools in Gaza City, killing at least 14 people, medics said. Another strike on a house in the Shati (Beach) camp, one of the Gaza Strip's eight historic refugee camps, killed 10 others.

The house in Shati belonged to the extended family of Hamas political chief Haniyeh, who is based in Qatar, killing one of his sisters along with other relatives too, family members and medics said.

Haniyeh, who leads Hamas' diplomacy and is the public face of the group that has been running Gaza, has lost many relatives in Israeli air strikes since Oct. 7, including three sons.

Israel's military said its forces had targeted militants overnight in Gaza City who had been involved in the planning of attacks on Israel. The militants included some involved in holding hostages captive and some who had taken part in Hamas' cross-border attack on Oct. 7.

The Israeli Air Force struck two structures "used by Hamas terrorists in Shati and Daraj Tuffah in the northern Gaza Strip. The terrorists operated inside school compounds that were used by Hamas as a shield for its terrorist activities", the military statement said.

Hamas denies using civilian facilities such as schools and hospitals for military purposes.

The group described the attacks on the two schools and the house in Shati camp as "massacres".

"We hold the administration of US President Joe Boden responsible for the continued war of genocide against our Palestinian people in Gaza Strip through continuing to offer the Zionist government and its criminal army political and military cover," Hamas said in a statement.

Separately, the armed wings of Hamas and the allied Islamic Jihad groups said in a joint statement their fighters had fired mortar bombs overnight against Israeli forces in the Yibna neighbourhood of eastern Rafah.


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