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Israeli Forces Escalate Attacks In Gaza After Hostage Rescue Operation Reportedly Leads To 274 Palestinians’ Deaths

About 274 Palestinians were reported dead as a result of the Israeli military’s raid to rescue hostages on Saturday

An Israeli soldier walks near military vehicles, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, near Israel’s border with Gaza in southern Israel, May 29, 2024. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Israeli forces intensified their assault on central Gaza on Sunday, following a deadly hostage rescue operation that left 274 Palestinians dead.

Also, tanks pushed further into Rafah in an apparent bid to seal off part of the city, residents and Hamas media reported.

Saturday’s raid on the Al-Nuseirat camp marked the deadliest 24-hour period in the months-long Gaza war, with many women and children among the casualties, according to Palestinian medics.

The Gaza health ministry updated the death toll to 274 on Sunday, including 64 children and 57 women, with 698 others injured.

The Israeli military confirmed the rescue of four hostages but acknowledged the death of a special forces officer. It reported “under 100” Palestinian deaths, without specifying the number of fighters or civilians.

Hamas, however, claimed three Israeli hostages, including a U.S. citizen, were killed during the raid, but provided no details.

Following the raid, Israeli airstrikes targeted houses in Deir Al-Balah and the Al-Bureij refugee camp on Sunday, killing six Palestinians, while tank shelling continued in Al-Nuseirat and Al-Maghazi camps.

The conflict, which began on October 7 with a Hamas attack on Israel, has claimed at least 37,084 Palestinian lives, according to Gaza’s health ministry. The war has led to a severe humanitarian crisis, displacing over three-quarters of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents and devastating infrastructure.

Efforts by the U.S. and regional countries to negotiate a ceasefire have repeatedly failed due to disagreements between Israel and Hamas. The ongoing conflict has also destabilised the wider Middle East, with Hezbollah clashing with Israel along its northern border, raising fears of a broader war.

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

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