More than 30 people were killed in an Israeli bombing on a refugee camp in central Gaza late Saturday, the Hamas-run health ministry there said, amid ongoing fighting between Israel and Hamas militants.
“More than 30 (dead) arrived at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir Al-Balah in the massacre committed by the occupation in Al-Maghazi camp in the central Gaza Strip,” health ministry spokesperson Ashraf Al-Qudra said in a statement.
Hamas said in a statement posted on Telegram that Israel had “directly” bombed citizens’ homes, adding that most of the dead were women and children.
“An Israeli air strike targeted my neighbours’ house in Al-Maghazi camp, my house next door partially collapsed,” said Mohammed Alaloul, 37, a journalist working for the Turkish Anadolu Agency.
Alaloul told AFP his 13-year-old son, Ahmed, and his 4-year-old son, Qais, were killed in the attack, along with his brother. His wife, mother, and two other children were injured.
An Israeli military spokesperson said they were looking into whether the Israel Defense Forces had been operating in the area at the time of the bombing.
Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas in punishment for its brutal October 7 attack on communities and military outposts near the Gaza border, which it says killed more than 1,400 people, mainly civilians. More than 240 Israeli and foreign hostages were also abducted during the attack.
The health ministry in Gaza, which is controlled by Hamas, says more than 9,480 Gazans, mostly women and children, have been killed in Israeli strikes and the intensifying ground campaign.
Israeli chief of staff Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi visited troops inside Gaza on Saturday after they completed an encirclement of Gaza City, which lies to the north of Al-Maghazi.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Israeli forces were fighting “hard” in Gaza. He said they were “operating from south and north (of Gaza City) and have entered populated areas”.