June 18, 2024

Dozens of Palestinians have been killed and wounded in Israeli air raids on Jabalia refugee camp in the besieged Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian health ministry and the official Palestinian news agency WAFA.

At least 493 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli bombardments on the blockaded enclave since Saturday, according to a ministry death toll published earlier on Monday.

The Israeli air raids on Gaza came after Hamas fighters from the Strip launched a multi-front attack on Israel, killing at least 800 people and capturing dozens of others as hostages.

At the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza, men clambered on a flattened building to pull an infant’s tiny body from the rubble, carrying it down through the crowd below amid still-smouldering remains of bombed buildings. The air raid left dozens of people killed and injured, according to the territory’s health ministry and WAFA.

As ambulances arrived at a hospital, workers ran out to haul in stretchers bearing the wounded. Inside, a man lay next to the shrouded body of his nephew, hysterical with grief, alternately striking the floor and embracing the corpse as he screamed.

Funeral processions wound down Gaza streets. In Rafah, in the south, men strode behind a body being carried on a bier, Palestinian and Hamas flags raised behind.

At the cemetery, a family buried Saad Lubbad, a boy killed in air raids. His body, wrapped in white, was passed down to be laid on a patterned cloth before burial.

Nasser Abu Quta said 19 members of his family including his wife were killed when an air raid hit their home, where they were huddling on the ground floor in Rafah.

There were no fighters in his building, he said. “This is a safe house, with children and women,” the 57-year-old Abu Quta told the Associated Press news agency by telephone.

Another strike in the same city early Monday killed 11, including women and children.

The densely populated enclave’s 2.3 million residents, many of them refugees descended from people who fled or were expelled from their homes during fighting when Israel was founded in 1948, have endured repeated bouts of war and Israeli air raids in the past.

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