Dozens killed in Israeli strike that Hamas warns threaten truce talks

Palestinian officials have reported that an Israeli airstrike in the southern Gaza Strip resulted in the deaths of over 25 individuals. In addition, tanks advancing in Gaza City forced residents to flee amid gunfire. This escalation of violence by Israel has raised concerns about the ongoing ceasefire negotiations, as warned by Hamas.

The airstrike specifically targeted the tents of displaced families located near a school in the town of Abassan, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza. Palestinian medical officials have stated that at least 29 people were killed in the attack, with the majority being women and children.

The Israeli military has acknowledged the reports of civilian casualties and stated that it is currently reviewing the situation. They claim that the incident occurred when they targeted a Hamas fighter involved in the October 7 raid on Israel, which had prompted the Israeli assault on Gaza. They assert that their strike was carried out using precise munitions.

This recent outbreak of violence coincides with the presence of senior U.S. officials in the region, who are actively working towards a ceasefire agreement. Hamas had made concessions last week in an effort to facilitate the negotiations.
According to a report from Egypt’s Al-Qahera News TV channel, representatives from Egypt, the United States, Qatar, and Israel are set to meet in Doha, Qatar on Wednesday to continue discussions on the Gaza truce. The Egyptian and U.S. delegations will be led by Abbas Kamel and William Burns, respectively, following their recent talks in Cairo. Ronen Bar, the chief of Israel’s Shin Bet security service, headed the Israeli negotiating team during the two-day meeting in Cairo. However, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh expressed concern that Israel’s renewed campaign could jeopardize the negotiations and bring them back to square one.
Following an announcement by the Israeli army that Palestinians living in the Daraj neighborhood must evacuate their homes in Gaza City, Palestinians have begun migrating towards Al-Nasr Street in the northwest of the city. Videos circulating on social media depict families packed onto donkey carts and trucks, carrying their mattresses and other belongings, as they navigate through Gaza City’s streets to escape areas under Israeli evacuation orders. “Gaza City is being devastated. This is the reality. Israel is compelling us to abandon our homes amidst ongoing attacks,” said Um Tamer, a mother of seven, in a statement to Reuters via a chat app.
According to a woman from Gaza City, her family has been forced to flee their home for the seventh time due to the ongoing conflict with Israel. This city, located in the northern part of the enclave, was one of the first targets during the war that started in October.

The Palestinian Red Crescent has reported that all of their medical clinics in Gaza City are currently unable to operate due to evacuation orders from the Israeli forces. As a result, thousands of people have been forced to move westward towards the Mediterranean and southward.

The United Nations has described the situation in Gaza City as “dangerously chaotic,” with thousands of people being displaced. The Israeli evacuation orders have instructed people to leave their homes, even in areas where active fighting is taking place or where separate evacuation orders have been issued.

Stephane Dujarric, the chief spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, has expressed concern over the situation and the potential dangers faced by those trying to evacuate.
According to Dujarric, Gazans were forced to flee in various directions without knowing which route would be the safest. As a result of the ongoing attacks and bombardments, a significant number of people were displaced, with only a small fraction able to bring along their belongings.