Israel launches new military campaign in central Gaza

The Israeli military says it has begun a ground operation against Hamas in the Bureij refugee camp and east of the town of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip.

Troops backed by air strikes were targeting “terrorists and terrorist infrastructure above and below ground”, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement.

The charity Médecins Sans Frontières said at least 70 dead people and 300 wounded, the majority of them women and children, had been brought to a hospital in Deir al-Balah since Tuesday.

It comes as US, Egyptian and Qatari mediators meet in Doha and Cairo to discuss how to finalise a new ceasefire and hostage release deal.

The US said on Tuesday it was still waiting for a response from Hamas to what it described as an Israeli proposal outlined by US President Joe Biden on Friday.

Qatar said it had delivered the plan to Hamas representatives and noted that it was also still waiting for a clear position from the Israeli government.

Israel launched a military campaign in Gaza to destroy Hamas in response to the group’s cross-border attack on southern Israel on 7 October, during which around 1,200 people were killed and 251 others were taken hostage.

At least 36,580 people have been killed in Gaza since then, according to the territory’s Hamas-run health ministry.



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