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70 dead in Gaza’s Jabalia camp after Israeli army’s withdrawal

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70 dead in Gaza’s Jabalia camp after Israeli army’s withdrawal

Gaza, June 1 (IANS) At least 70 Palestinians were found dead in northern Gaza’s Jabalia refugee camp where Israel has just pulled out its armed forces after a nearly three-week offensive.

Local medical sources told Xinhua news agency on Friday that ambulance and civil defence crews primitively retrieved about 70 bodies, including 20 children, from the camp, while search work continued for the missing.

The sources noted that dozens of others were reported missing under the rubble of homes, shelters, and hospitals due to Israeli air and artillery strikes in the operation, Xinhua news agency reported.

As the Israeli forces withdrew, hundreds of residents returned from shelters to their homes in the camp to check on their properties.

Some of them told Xinhua that the strikes had resulted in heavy damage to hundreds of residential units as well as roads, water supply systems, and sewage infrastructure in the camp and its surroundings.

They accused the Israeli soldiers of setting fire to apartments and residential buildings as a form of “collective punishment and revenge”.

The Israeli troops of the 98th Division withdrew after completing their mission in eastern Jabalia and began preparation for continued operations in the Gaza Strip, after “rescuing seven bodies of hostages, eliminating hundreds of terrorists, and destroying a 10-km subterranean tunnel network,” the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement on Friday.

On the same day, the Hamas-run media office in Gaza condemned the Israeli army for adopting a “scorched earth” policy in its attack on the Jabalia camp, which left residential blocks destroyed and numerous Palestinians displaced.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees also said on Friday that it has received “horrific reports” from the agency’s facilities in Jabalia, where “displaced people, including children, (were) reportedly killed and injured (when) sheltering in our school”.

It said on social media platform X that the IDF had besieged a shelter converted from the agency-run school in Jabalia and set tents of people sheltering there on fire.

Israel launched a large-scale offensive against Hamas in Gaza to retaliate against a Hamas rampage through the southern Israeli border on October 7, 2023, during which about 1,200 people were killed and more than 200 were taken hostage.


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