Gaza

Israeli airstrike on Christmas Day kills 100 people

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Gaza
  • Netanyahu vows to expand campaign
  • Egypt floats plan to end war

No fewer than 70 people were killed in an Israeli airstrike on Christmas Eve in the Al-Maghazi refugee camp in the centre of Gaza, Palestinian authorities in the besieged strip said.

Reports also indicated that 23 people were killed in another Israeli strike on Khan Younis, bringing the total number of deaths overnight to over 100. The figure marked the date as one of the deadliest.

The Palestinian health ministry said at least 12 women and seven children were among those who died in a late-night strike, which destroyed several houses in the refugee camp.

Ashraf al-Qidra, a spokesperson for the health ministry, called the airstrike a “massacre”, adding that the death toll was likely to climb.

Footage from the camp showed dozens of injured, including children, being rushed to the nearby Al-Aqsa hospital, while some of the bodies were piled outside in body bags.

It comes as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel will expand its Gaza ground offensive in the coming days despite international efforts to halt the fighting.

Speaking to members of his Likud Party yesterday, Netanyahu said the war “isn’t close to finished.”

Netanyahu spoke after returning from a visit to troops fighting inside Gaza. The comments came as Egypt is floating an ambitious proposal to end the Israel-Hamas war.

“We are not stopping. We are continuing to fight and we are expanding the fight in the coming days,” Netanyahu said. “The will be a long battle and it isn’t close to finished.”

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Egypt put forward an ambitious, initial proposal to end the Israel-Hamas war with a cease-fire, a phased hostage release and the creation of a Palestinian government of experts who would administer the Gaza Strip and occupied West Bank, a senior Egyptian official and a European diplomat said yesterday.

A father who lost his daughter and grandchildren in the strike told the BBC the family had fled from the north for safety in central Gaza.

At least 70 people are believed to have been killed in the attack, Palestinian authorities said.

“They lived on the third floor of one of the buildings,” he said, adding that the walls collapsed on them. “My grandchildren, my daughter, her husband – all gone.

“We are all targeted. Civilians are targeted. There is no safe place. They told us to leave Gaza City – now we came to central Gaza to die,” the man told the broadcaster.

The Israeli military said it was reviewing the incident.

 “Despite the challenges posed by Hamas terrorists operating within civilian areas in Gaza, the IDF is committed to international law including taking feasible steps to minimise harm to civilians,” the Israeli forces said.

The Palestinian health ministry said another 10 members of one family were killed in an Israeli strike on their house in the Jabalia camp in northern Gaza.

tions were cancelled in Bethlehem, the Israeli-occupied Palestinian West Bank city, the biblical birthplace of Jesus.

Egypt has put forward an ambitious, initial proposal to end the Israel-Hamas war with a cease-fire, a phased hostage release and the creation of a Palestinian government of experts who would administer the Gaza Strip and occupied West Bank, a senior Egyptian official and a European diplomat said yesterday.

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Word of the proposal came as Israeli airstrikes heavily pounded central and southern Gaza, crushing buildings on families sheltering inside. In the Maghazi refugee camp, rescue workers were still pulling bodies from the wreckage hours after a strike that killed at least 106 people, according to hospital records seen by The Associated Press — one of the deadliest of Israel’s air campaign.

The Egyptian proposal, worked out with the Gulf nation of Qatar, has been presented to Israel, Hamas, the United States and European governments but still appeared preliminary. It falls short of Israel’s professed goal of outright crushing Hamas after its Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel, which triggered the war. It would appear not to meet Israel’s insistence on keeping military control over Gaza for an extended period after the war. It also is unclear if Hamas would agree to relinquish power.



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