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Deadly Day Leaves Over 70 Palestinians Dead


The Gaza Strip experienced one of its deadliest days in recent weeks as Israel’s military ramped up its offensive, killing at least 77 Palestinians.

Among the casualties were dozens of civilians seeking shelter at a school, as the conflict continued to escalate, threatening mediated ceasefire talks.

In Abbasan, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza, an Israeli airstrike on the al-Awdah school resulted in the deaths of at least 30 people and left 53 wounded, predominantly women and children, according to Palestinian medics.

Footage going around on social media captured moments before the attack, showing children playing football in the schoolyard, followed by an explosion that sent people fleeing for safety.

The Israeli military routinely stated it was investigating the incident.

Elsewhere in Gaza, Israeli airstrikes targeted the central Bureij camp, killing 17 people, including 14 children. A raid on a house in central Deir el-Balah claimed three more lives. These attacks have intensified the already dire humanitarian situation in the region.

Hamas condemned the attack on the al-Awdah school as “an extension of the war of extermination against our people by the Zionist terrorist government” and called for escalated protests in Arab and Muslim nations.

European Union’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, also denounced the attack, stressing the urgent need for a ceasefire.

“For how long are innocent civilians going to bear the brunt of this conflict?” Borrell posted on X (formerly Twitter). “It is imperative to immediately reach a ceasefire to bring respite to hundreds of stranded civilians, free all the hostages, and deliver the needed humanitarian aid.”

Amid the ongoing violence, CIA Director William Burns and Israel’s Mossad Chief David Barnea are scheduled to travel to Qatar to push for a ceasefire. This follows Burns’ talks with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Cairo.

Hamas had previously shown flexibility by dropping a demand for an upfront end to the war before signing a ceasefire agreement, instead agreeing to negotiate during an initial six-week ceasefire.

However, Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas leader, warned that Israel’s escalating assaults could derail the negotiations. “Israel’s escalating assault has threatened talks at a crucial time and could bring negotiations back to square one,” he stated.

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The UN Human Rights Office expressed alarm over the conditions civilians face, often displaced multiple times and directed to move into active conflict zones. The Palestinian Red Crescent noted that all its medical clinics in Gaza City were out of service due to the evacuations, leaving thousands without critical medical care.

Jagan Chapagain, head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, highlighted the dire healthcare situation on X, stating, “The closure of these vital medical facilities exacerbates an already dire healthcare system.”

Since the beginning of the conflict in October, at least 38,243 Palestinians have been killed and 88,243 wounded. In Israel, the death toll from Hamas-led attacks on October 7 stands at approximately 1,139, with dozens still held captive in Gaza.

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