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Israeli bombing on Gaza refugee camp kills 45

GAZA STRIP (AFP) – At least 45 people have been killed in Israeli strikes on a central Gaza refugee camp, the area’s Health Ministry said yesterday in an updated toll, as fighting rages in the Palestinian territory.

Israel has not confirmed it had hit Al-Maghazi camp, and a military spokesperson said they were looking into whether forces were operating in the area at the time of the bombing late on Saturday.

The ministry in the besieged Gaza Strip said in a statement that “the number of martyrs in the Maghazi massacre has risen to 45”.

Ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qudra had initially reported 30 deaths.

Hamas said in a statement posted on Telegram that Israel had “directly” bombed civilian homes, adding that most of the dead were women and children.

“An Israeli air strike targeted my neighbours’ house in Al-Maghazi camp, my house next door partially collapsed,” said Mohammed Alaloul, 37, a journalist working for the Turkish Anadolu Agency.

Alaloul told AFP his 13-year-old son, Ahmed, and his four-year-old son, Qais, were killed in the attack, along with his brother. His wife, mother, and two other children were injured.

The Health Ministry in Gaza said more than 9,480 Gazans, mostly women and children, have been killed in Israeli strikes and the intensifying ground campaign.

Israeli chief of staff Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi visited troops inside Gaza on Saturday after they completed an encirclement of Gaza City, which lies to the north of Al-Maghazi.

Palestinians looking for survivors under the rubble of a destroyed house following an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City. PHOTO: AP