Israel continues war crimes on Gaza as 17,177 killed

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Hamas’ military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, said it thwarted an Israeli attempt to free a soldier held by the group in Gaza on Friday morning.

 

Foreign Desk

GAZA: The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continue their brutal aggression on the Gaza Strip for the 63rd consecutive day on Friday, amidst intensified airstrikes, artillery shelling, destroying homes on top of their residents, and committing more massacres and crimes of genocide, exacerbating the humanitarian situation due to forced displacement and aggression. Meanwhile, fierce clashes and heroic resistance continue in infiltration axes.

Israeli forces have dropped a large number of incendiary and smoke bombs on a school sheltering displaced Palestinians in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, setting it on fire.

Hossam Shabat, a journalist at the scene, published a video on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Friday, showing people rushing to extinguish the fire.

Similar reports of widespread use of smoke bombs overnight were reported across several parts of the Gaza Strip, especially its northern part, where hundreds of thousands of civilians are living.

Palestinian photojournalist, Mahmoud Abusalama, said Israeli troops had been shelling the Jabalia refugee camp for hours and using gas and smoke bombs, adding “Children and women are suffocating in their homes.”

Israeli fighter jets also intensified their airstrikes on several parts of the besieged strip overnight, including Gaza City and Beit Lahia in the north.

Among the pounded areas are Deir al-Balah and Nuseirat refugee camp in the center of the strip, as well as Khan Younis and Rafah in the south.

Israel launched the war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas waged the surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in response to the Israeli regime’s decades-long campaign of bloodletting and devastation against Palestinians.

At least 17,177 Palestinians, most of them women and children, have been killed in the Israeli strikes.

Among those killed in Israel’s onslaught is Refaat Alareer, one of the founders of the ‘We Are Not Numbers’ project and professor at the Islamic University of Gaza.

“[Alareer] authored many books and wrote tens of stories about Gaza. Refaat’s assassination is tragic, painful, and outrageous. It is a huge loss,” his friend and the project’s co-founder, Ahmed Alnaouq, wrote on X on Thursday.

We Are Not Numbers, an initiative of the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, aims “to transform the preconceived misconception of victims of armed conflicts, by Western audiences. The goal is to show them that these victims share the same human stories and talents behind the numbers often shown in the news and show that they too are humans with personal stories, feelings, lives, dreams, and hopes.”

Fighting also continues in the besieged Strip, with the Hamas resistance movement dealing heavy blows to the invading Israeli forces.

Hamas’ military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, said it thwarted an Israeli attempt to free a soldier held by the group in Gaza on Friday morning.

In a communiqué published on Telegram, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades said Palestinian fighters detected special Israeli forces advancing towards the location of one of the captives at dawn.

Palestinian fighters clashed with the Israeli force, killing and injuring a number of the soldiers, according to the statement.

Fighter jets then bombed the location of the incident, leading to the death of the captured soldier, whom the group identified as Saar Baruch, 25.

Meanwhile, Six Palestinian civilians were killed and several others were injured Friday morning during an Israeli military raid into the Al-Far’a refugee camp, in the northern West Bank province of Tubas, according to medical reports.

The Ministry of Health confirmed the casualties, reporting the deaths of six individuals by Israeli army gunfire and the injury of several more, as Israeli occupation forces continued their aggressive raid within the camp. Eyewitnesses recounted that Israeli soldiers attempted to obstruct the passage of Red Crescent ambulances, preventing them from reaching the wounded for some time.