Dozens killed, many buried in Israeli air strikes

  • Dozens of civilians are killed in an Israeli air strike on the al-Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza with many more reported buried in the concrete debris.
  • Israeli forces continue to sustain losses with more than a dozen troops killed in heavy fighting over the weekend.

    Israel ‘checking’ on al-Maghazi massacre reports

    The Israeli army says it is “checking” on reports that 70 people have been killed in air strikes on the refugee camp near Deir el-Balah city in central Gaza.

    Earlier the health ministry said a “residential block” was attacked and the “toll is likely to rise” given the large number of families residing there.

    Death toll in Maghazi attack rises to 70: Health Ministry

    At least 70 people have been killed in Gaza in one of the deadliest strikes of the war.

    At a nearby hospital, frantic Palestinians carried the dead and wounded, including children, following the deadly strike on the Maghazi refugee camp, east of Deir el-Balah.

    “We were all targeted,” said Ahmad Turokmani, who lost several family members including his daughter and grandson. “There is no safe place in Gaza, anyway.”

    ‘A massacre’: Update on Israeli attack on Maghazi refugee camp

    The death toll following an Israeli air strike that hit central Gaza’s Maghazi refugee camp has risen to 60 people.

    Palestinian Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said the number of dead is likely to climb with many people buried under the rubble.

    “What is happening at the Maghazi camp is a massacre that is being committed on a crowded residential square,” al-Qudra said.

    Dozens killed in Israeli attack on al-Maghazi refugee camp

    Al Jazeera’s correspondent reports that dozens of Palestinians have been killed as a result of Israeli air raids that targeted a residential square in the al-Maghazi camp in the central Gaza Strip.

    According to the government media office in Gaza, the attack killed at least 66 Palestinians and wounded dozens more.

    In Khan Younis, 22 Palestinians have been killed as a result of the continued Israeli bombing.

    Israel’s military campaign since October 7 – including massive bombardment – has killed 20,424 people, mostly women and children, according to Gaza’s health ministry.

    Shipping giant Maersk prepares to resume Red Sea operations

    Denmark’s Maersk is preparing to resume shipping operations in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, citing the deployment of a US-led military operation designed to ensure the safety of commerce in the area.

    The shipping giant paused sending vessels through the Bab al-Mandeb Strait earlier in December because of attacks against its ships. That rendered the Suez Canal, which is key to global commerce, unusable for most routes.

    “We have received confirmation that the previously announced multinational security initiative … has now been set up and deployed to allow maritime commerce to pass through the Red Sea/Gulf of Aden and once again return to using the Suez Canal as a gateway between Asia and Europe,” Maersk said in a statement.

    Maersk said it would release more details in the coming days. But it said it could again resort to diverting ship traffic depending on how safety conditions evolved.

    Several other firms have stopped transiting the Red Sea on safety concerns in recent weeks as has oil major BP.

    Spain will not join US-led Red Sea coalition

    Spain says it will not join a US-led coalition to protect Red Sea shipping from attacks by Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

    Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is in the process of putting together a coalition and needs the support of the radical left party Sumar, which opposes US foreign policy.

    The Houthis welcomed Spain’s stance with Deputy Foreign Minister Hussein al-Ezzi saying, “We highly appreciate Spain’s refusal to be drawn into American and British lies on the issue of maritime navigation.”

    On Thursday, the Pentagon said 20 countries have joined the US-led coalition to protect the key shipping lane.

    Israeli army spokesman: We are fighting a complicated war

    Daniel Hagari, the Israeli army spokesman, says Israel is fighting a “complex and complicated war”.

    “We discovered a network of tunnels in Jabalia and recovered the bodies of three kidnapped soldiers and civilians,” he said.

    “We continue to deepen our military operations in Khan Younis. Hamas cannot be destroyed without deaths among our ranks.”

    More than a dozen Israeli troops have died in combat over the past few days. Israelis still largely stand behind the country’s stated goals of crushing Hamas’s governing and military capabilities and releasing the remaining 129 captives.

    That support has stayed mostly steady despite rising international pressure against Israel’s offensive, the soaring death toll and unprecedented suffering among Palestinians.

    Abu Obeida: 48 Israeli soldiers killed in last four days

    The military spokesman of the Qassam Brigades, Abu Obeida, released a statement:

    • We targeted the invading forces with missiles and anti-fortifications and anti-personnel devices and clashed with them from zero distance.
    • Our fighters have confirmed the killing of 48 Zionist soldiers, the wounding of dozens, and have carried out 24 combat missions during the past four days.
    • In the same time period, our fighters have destroyed 35 military vehicles, completely or partially.
    • Our fighters rained down a missile attack on the city of Tel Aviv.
    • Fighters pounded the headquarters, command rooms, and gatherings of soldiers with mortar shells and short-range missiles on all fronts.

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