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18 children killed in Israeli attacks and 50 bodies found in the Rafah area

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A Palestinian youth mourns slain family members at Kuwait Hospital in Rafah on Saturday. The hospital is said to have received a man, his pregnant wife and a three-year-old who were killed in an Israeli attack on the night of Sunday. The woman’s unborn child must have been saved. Photo: Ismael Abu Dayyah / AP / NTB

Of NTB | 21.04.2024 18:00:21

Crime and justice: Although the expected ground invasion of Rafah has been delayed, Israeli forces carry out attacks against targets in the city almost daily.

On the night of Sunday, a total of 22 people were killed, 18 of whom were children, in Israeli attacks on the town of Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip on the night of Sunday, according to information from local hospitals.

The first attack on Sunday night killed a married couple and their three-year-old child, according to the Kuwaiti hospital that received the bodies. The woman was pregnant, but the doctors are said to have managed to save the unborn child.

In another attack on the same night, 17 children and two women were killed, and they were all related, according to information the AP news agency has received from a local hospital.

The information from the hospitals about those killed has not been confirmed by other sources.

Spokesperson Mahmud Bassal tells the AFP news agency that the civil defense was shocked by the discovery. An exact number of how many bodies will come when all have been dug up, he says. Bassal also claims that some of those killed were tortured.

– Some of the bodies had no clothes on, which indicates that the victims may have been subjected to torture and ill-treatment, he says.

Hamas condemns the incident and claims it is similar to “those who were executed in cold blood and buried with military bulldozers in the hospital courtyard”.

Israel’s military has not commented on the bodies, but says it is investigating the information. From mid-February there was heavy fighting in the area, and on 26 March Israeli forces surrounded the Nassar hospital with tanks and armored vehicles.

The Palestinian news agency Wafa reports that both settlers and Israeli soldiers on the spot opened fire. But it is unclear who shot Allan. The AFP news agency has requested a comment from the Israeli military (IDF), so far without receiving a response.

A little further west in the Palestinian area, in Nur Shams, there were fights between Israeli soldiers and armed Palestinians on Friday and Saturday. The IDF says they “eliminated ten terrorists”, while the Palestinian Authority states that at least 14 Palestinians, including a 16-year-old boy and at least one armed man, were killed.

This means that almost 34,100 people have been killed in the Palestinian area since the war between Israel and Hamas began last autumn, according to the ministry’s figures. The same figures show that 469 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank during the period.

The casualty figures have not been confirmed from other sources, but according to the UN, information from Palestinian health authorities in previous conflicts has proven to be reliable.

Over half of the Gaza Strip’s population of 2.3 million people have sought refuge in Rafah.

The government in Israel wants to carry out a major military operation in Rafah to crush the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip, but both the US and a large number of other countries warn against this. They fear that such an operation will make conditions for the civilian population even worse.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday that the approval of the US military aid shows strong support for Israel and “defends Western civilization”. He thanks the United States.

Almost NOK 100 billion has also been set aside for humanitarian aid to Gaza and other vulnerable population groups around the world.

Gaza’s civil defense claimed on Sunday that it had found at least 50 bodies at the Nasser hospital in the southern town of Khan Younis, which is north of Rafah. The Civil Defense believes these people were killed and buried by Israeli forces.

On Saturday evening, the 50-year-old ambulance driver Mohammed Awad Allan was shot and killed, according to Palestinian authorities. It is said to have happened while he was picking up wounded in the village of Al-Sawiya which had been attacked by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank.

The war between Israel and Hamas has now been going on for over six months. In the last 24 hours alone, 48 people have been killed in the Gaza Strip, according to the Ministry of Health in the Hamas-ruled area.

The House of Representatives in the USA decided on Saturday to give more military support to Israel, equivalent to over NOK 140 billion. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemns the support and believes it will lead to thousands of new Palestinian war victims.

(© NTB)

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