May 21, 2024

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At least 31 people killed in Israeli attacks on the Bureij and Nuseirat refugee camps, officials say.

Israeli air raids have killed dozens of people, including children, in northern, central, and southern Gaza, Palestinian officials and media have said, as the besieged territory endures its 44th day of bombardment.

At least 31 people were killed in Israeli attacks on the Bureij and Nuseirat refugee camps in central Gaza, the Ministry of Health in the Hamas-governed enclave said on Sunday.

A woman and her child were also killed in strikes in southern Khan Younis city, Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

Israeli forces also shot dead two people, including a disabled man, during incursions in the occupied West Bank, Wafa reported.

Issam al-Fayed, a 46-year-old disabled man, was killed at the entrance of the Jenin refugee camp, while 20-year-old Omar Laham was killed at the Dheisheh refugee camp south of Bethlehem, Wafa said.

‘Our life is hell’

The killings come on the heels of devastating assaults on schools and refugee camps in northern Gaza.

At least 50 people were killed in an attack on al-Fakhoora school in the Jabalia refugee camp on Saturday, Gaza’s Health Ministry said, while dozens of casualties were reported from an attack on a second school in Tall az-Zaatar.

“The scenes were horrifying. Corpses of women and children were on the ground. Others were screaming for help,” Ahmed Radwan, a wounded survivor of al-Fakhoora attack, told The Associated Press news agency.

“Dead bodies [are] scattered … pieces of flesh”, an unnamed witness told Al Jazeera. “No one can recognise their sons. Our life is hell.”

Marwan Bishara, a senior political analyst for Al Jazeera, said al-Fakhoora school could be described as the “al-Shifa of schools” as it has been repeatedly hit by Israeli forces like al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest medical facility, which has been a major target of Israel’s military campaign.

“There is nothing discriminate about the fact that a school that shelters thousands of people has been bombed from the air; that is meant to create damage, human loss, suffering and death,” Bishara said.

Patients fleeing al-Shifa

Meanwhile, al-Shifa Hospital continued to be the focus of humanitarian concerns as hundreds of people fled the facility on foot on orders from the Israeli army, according to its director.

Columns of sick and injured – some of them amputees – were seen leaving with displaced people, doctors, and nurses on Saturday, as loud explosions were heard around the complex.

Philippe Lazzarini, head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA, described “horrifying images” of the scene, while Egypt called the bombing a “war crime” and “a deliberate insult to the United Nations”.

A World Health Organization assessment team on Sunday said 291 patients were left at the hospital. They included 32 babies in extremely critical condition, trauma patients with severely infected wounds and others with spinal injuries who are unable to move, the UN health agency said.

Since Palestinian group Hamas launched its surprise attack on Israeli territory on October 7, Israel has waged a devastating air and ground assault on Gaza, killing at least 11,500 people, more than a third of them children, according to Gaza officials.

The 44-day war has displaced some 1.5 million Palestinians, wrecked much of the territory’s infrastructure and sparked a desperate humanitarian crisis, aid workers say.

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