Khan Younis: UN says 12 killed at Gaza shelter as fighting rages

  • By David Gritten & Lipika Pelham
  • BBC News

Image caption,

UNRWA’s Gaza director stated tens of hundreds of individuals had been sheltering at the Khan Younis Training Centre

At least 12 folks had been killed and 75 injured when a UN facility sheltering civilians was struck in Khan Younis in southern Gaza, the UN’s Palestinian refugee company says.

UNRWA stated two shells hit its Khan Younis Training Centre throughout fighting within the metropolis’s western outskirts.

Its commissioner condemned the “blatant disregard of basic rules of war”.

Israel’s army stated it had dominated out that the incident was the results of an air or artillery strike by its forces.

It added that it was reviewing Israeli operations close by and inspecting the chance that it was “Hamas fire”.

Israeli troops have been battling Hamas fighters as they advance into western Khan Younis, a day after the army stated it had utterly encircled the town.

Clashes and bombardment across the metropolis’s two essential hospitals have additionally left hundreds of sufferers, workers and others unable to go away.

The battle was triggered by an unprecedented cross-border assault by Hamas gunmen on southern Israel on 7 October, during which about 1,300 folks had been killed and about 250 others taken hostage.

More than 25,700 folks have been killed in Gaza since then, based on the territory’s Hamas-run well being ministry.

An estimated 1.7 million folks – practically three-quarters of the inhabitants – have additionally been displaced by the previous 12 weeks of fighting and plenty of of them are sheltering inside UN services or close to them.

The Khan Younis Training Centre is likely one of the largest UNRWA shelters, with between 30,000 and 40,000 folks stated to be dwelling inside its grounds.

UNRWA stated the compound was clearly marked, that its co-ordinates had been shared with Israeli authorities, and that it and the civilians inside needed to be protected beneath worldwide regulation.

However, at least six displaced folks had been killed and plenty of extra injured when the coaching centre was struck on Monday throughout intense fighting within the surrounding space, according to the agency.

On Wednesday afternoon, UNRWA’s Gaza director, Thomas White, stated a constructing at the power that was housing 800 folks from northern Gaza was hit.

In an interview with the BBC from Rafah within the night, he stated the constructing was struck by “two tank rounds” and that at least 9 folks had been killed.

On Thursday morning, Mr White issued a press release saying the constructing was “hit by two shells and caught fire”. Twelve folks had now been confirmed useless and 15 of the injured had been in a important situation, he added.

“A number of missions to assess the situation were denied. Yesterday evening, the UN finally managed to reach the affected areas to treat trauma patients, bring medical supplies and evacuate injured patients to Rafah.”

He added: “The situation in Khan Younis underscores a consistent failure to uphold the fundamental principles of international humanitarian law: distinction, proportionality and precautions in carrying out attacks. This is unacceptable and abhorrent and must stop.”

In response to UNRWA’s preliminary studies, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) stated: “After an examination of our operational systems, the IDF has currently ruled out that this incident is a result of an aerial or artillery strike by the IDF.”

“A thorough review of the operations of the forces in the vicinity is under way,” it added. “The IDF is also examining the possibility that the strike was a result of Hamas fire.”

Vedant Patel of the US state division repeated Washington’s requires the safety of civilians in Gaza.

“We deplore today’s attack on the UN’s Khan Younis training centre,” she stated, and known as it “incredibly concerning”.

Image supply, Getty Images

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An image taken from Rafah reveals smoke billowing over Khan Younis throughout Israeli bombardment on Thursday

The IDF additionally stated on Wednesday afternoon that its troops had “launched a divisional manoeuvre on West Khan Younis” that was focusing on Hamas “outposts, infrastructure, and command and control centres”.

“Dismantling Hamas’ military framework in western Khan Yunis is the heart of the logic behind the operation.”

The IDF added that Hamas “exploits the civilian population, exploits shelters and hospitals” – one thing the group has denied.

Gaza’s well being ministry in the meantime accused the IDF of “isolating hospitals in Khan Younis and carrying out massacres in the western area of the city”.

The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) stated the al-Amal Hospital, which it runs, and its native headquarters had been beneath “siege” by Israeli forces, trapping sufferers, wounded folks and an estimated 13,000 displaced folks.


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The Palestine Red Crescent Society stated there was intense shelling round Al-Amal Hospital

“They are currently unable to evacuate along with the thousands of people in the hospital, including 850 patients, due to roads to and from the building being either inaccessible or too dangerous.”

The IDF has issued evacuation orders for western components of Khan Younis, together with these the place Nasser and al-Amal are positioned. The UN estimates there are about 88,000 residents and 425,000 displaced folks within the space.

Mr White advised the BBC that tens of hundreds extra folks had been now on the transfer, heading south to Rafah, on the border with Egypt, the place as many as 1.4 million are already sheltering.

Five males are seen strolling in direction of the fight zone holding a white flag, earlier than there’s a burst of gunfire and certainly one of them falls to the bottom. It was not clear who opened fireplace.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was requested within the Parliament on Wednesday whether or not such footage would immediate him to push for a ceasefire in Gaza.

He replied: “No-one wants to see this conflict go on for a moment longer than is necessary and we do want to see an immediate and sustained humanitarian pause.”

Efforts involving a number of nations to attempt to attain a ceasefire are ongoing, with one plan stated to incorporate a month-long truce and phased launch of Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners.

But each Israel and Hamas seem to have rejected proposals, and hopes of any progress have been dampened.

Egypt’s President, Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, in the meantime accused Israel of intentionally holding up support deliveries at the Egyptian-controlled Rafah border crossing as “a form of pressure on the Gaza Strip and its people over the conflict and the release of hostages”.

However, an Israeli defence ministry company co-ordinating the deliveries with Egypt and the UN rejected the declare, insisting that “there is no limit to the amount of aid that can enter Gaza”.

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