Israel intensifies Gaza strikes, killing 250 Palestinians in 24 hours

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Palestinians mourn relatives killed in the Israeli bombardment, outside a morgue in Khan Younis [Mohammed Dahman/AP Photo]

More than 100 people have been killed in an Israeli strike on the Maghazi refugee camp with families still trapped in rubble.

Israel has intensified its assault on the Gaza Strip, killing more than 100 people at the Maghazi refugee camp, with Palestinian authorities reporting that 250 people have been killed in a wave of strikes over 24 hours.

“My entire family is gone. All five of my brothers are gone. They didn’t leave me any brothers. … All of them!” a wailing woman said on Monday at the Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.

Palestinians lined up to touch the shrouded bodies of those killed in Israeli strikes on the camp in a funeral on Monday, commemorating dozens of people who were killed, many of them women and children. An Al Jazeera reporter in Gaza said the figure has now reached more than 100.

The Government Media Office in Gaza said seven families were wiped out in the Israeli attack on a residential square in the camp.

“The Israeli army doesn’t spare civilians,” Zeyad Awad, a resident of Maghazi, told Al Jazeera.

“My child said to me, ‘Help me! What’s happening? I can’t breathe,’” he added.

The night before Christmas in Gaza was marked by some of the most intense bombardments in the current round of fighting between Israel and the Palestinian armed group Hamas with Israeli strikes levelling buildings and leaving families trapped beneath piles of rubble.

“This is a three-story building that was targeted, and another house here and another house here. According to the family, he told me that five of his family members are still under the rubble,” Al Jazeera correspondent Hind Khoudary reported from Maghazi, adding that one of those trapped is a baby.

“He also told me that there has been no ambulances or civil defence since yesterday and he can’t do anything about it. He’s trying to dig with his own bare hands,” she added.

Israeli strikes also killed scores of people in areas such as Khan Younis, Bureij and Nuseirat. About 500 people have been injured by Israeli strikes over the past day.

Reporting from Rafah in southern Gaza, Al Jazeera’s Tareq Abu Azzoum said the death toll in the Maghazi strike had risen to 106.

In Christmas remarks on Monday, Pope Francis said children being killed in wars, including those in Gaza, are “little Jesuses of today” and Israel’s assault has reaped an “appalling harvest” of innocent civilians. More than 20,000 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed in relentless Israeli bombardment of Gaza since October 7.

In the city of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, where the Bible says Jesus Christ was born, the normally jubilant Christmas celebrations have turned solemn, and Israeli forces have carried out raids.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

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