“Mass casualties” as a result of the bombing of a United Nations shelter amid fierce fighting in Khan Yunis

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A building housing hundreds of displaced people in the city of Khan Yunis was hit by Israeli tank fire on Wednesday, according to the United Nations, as Israeli forces intensified their attacks on southern Gaza, forcing large numbers of Palestinians to flee the neighbourhood.

A video clip obtained by CNN showed wreaths of smoke hanging over the United Nations shelter, after a massive fire broke out in UNRWA’s Khan Yunis training center.

“The buildings caught fire and there were large numbers of casualties. Safe access to and from the center was prevented for two days. “People are trapped,” Thomas White, director of UNRWA affairs, told Channel X.

At least nine people were killed and 75 others were injured, White said, adding that a team from his agency and the World Health Organization was trying to reach the site. He said the building houses 800 people.

In a statement, the Israeli army said that it “currently” ruled out that the incident was “the result of an air or artillery strike by the Israeli army.”

“A comprehensive review of force operations in the area is underway,” she said, adding that she was “studying the possibility that the raid was the result of Hamas fire.”

Last week, the IDF intensified its attack on Khan Yunis, where medical facilities housing displaced civilians and health workers operate. He was beaten. the The IDF confirms There are Hamas fighters in area hospitals. Aid agencies say the blockade has hampered vital humanitarian operations.

The Israeli military launched its campaign in Gaza with the declared aim of eliminating Hamas, after more than 1,200 people were killed and more than 250 were kidnapped during the militant group’s attacks on Israel on October 7, according to Israeli authorities.

Since then, its bombing and siege of the enclave has devastated vast swaths of territory, reducing food, fuel and water supplies and exposing more than 2.2 million civilians to famine, drought and disease.

On Tuesday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres Be warned Palestinians in Gaza face “inhumane and miserable conditions, struggling to simply live another day without adequate shelter, heating, sanitation, food and potable water.”

Israeli attacks on the Palestinian Strip led to the killing of at least 100 people 25,700 people, and 63,740 others were injured, according to the Hamas-run Ministry of Health in Gaza. CNN cannot independently verify the numbers due to difficulties covering the war zone.

Palestinians gather around the bodies of those killed in the Israeli ground attack and bombing of Khan Yunis, outside a morgue in nearby Rafah, in southern Gaza, on January 24. – Fatima Shabir/AFP

Hospitals are besieged

Palestinian health officials and medics also reported that Israeli tanks and drones were firing at people trying to flee near Al-Amal and Al-Nasser hospitals in Khan Yunis.

The Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza said Israeli forces surrounded the Nasser Medical Complex, cutting off vital medical, food and fuel supplies.

Ministry of Health spokesman Ashraf Al-Qudra said, “Hundreds of infected patients and pregnant women are facing serious complications.”

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said that Israeli forces “surrounded” its headquarters and Al-Amal Hospital and imposed “restrictions on movement around the building and the hospital.”

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society added that six people were killed in attacks on Khan Yunis on Wednesday, three of whom were “targeted” at the entrance to their headquarters.

The Palestinian Wafa news agency said that Israeli tanks also surrounded the Al-Aqsa University complex in the city, where thousands were taking shelter. She added that civilians were targeted elsewhere in southern Gaza during the past 24 hours.

Four civilians, including a child, were killed in an Israeli attack on a “rest stop” in the coastal town of Al-Mawasi, and a man fleeing the fighting in Khan Yunis was injured in his car, WAFA reported.

The Israeli forces carried out “several intense air strikes, described as fire belts, accompanying their ground incursion, which extended to the west of Khan Yunis,” according to what a Geneva-based non-governmental organization that defends human rights in the region reported. The Mediterranean Observatory for Human Rights said on Wednesday

The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Observatory reported that shelters housing “tens of thousands” of displaced people in the western part of Khan Yunis and in Al-Mawasi are under siege by the Israeli army.

The Israeli army said it was continuing to operate in Khan Yunis, pursuing “military targets, settlement sites, infrastructure, and command and control centers,” and said the operation there would continue “for several days.”

“The brigade combat team is located around [Khan Younis] The camp is on the western side, and I started working inside it. The Israeli army said that the maneuver will continue against military targets in the area, sites, infrastructure, and command and control centers.

“There is an area with shelters, many hospitals and many sensitive sites. We have seen terrorists using these sites. About a week ago we saw a launch from Nasser Hospital, there are terrorists present in these hospitals.

The Israeli army added: “This operation will continue for several days until we achieve the maximum achievement: dismantling the military framework of Hamas and Hamas’ strongholds, which we must completely dismantle.”

CNN cannot independently verify the operational details reported by the IDF. CNN requested a comment from the Israeli army about whether its forces surrounded the Nasser and Amal hospitals.

Thousands were displaced

While the IDF was besieging the city of Khan Yunis, thousands of Palestinians moved south Towards RafahNear the border with Egypt, where 1.3 million people were displaced, according to what Agence France-Presse reported United nations.

CNN video, recorded Monday, shows displaced people sitting on the sides of streets and close to the seashore as they head west and south. The Israeli army ordered civilians to leave several areas in and around the city and head towards the coast, which it described to CNN as “safer.”

The video shows cars, trucks, and tractors transporting families and their basic possessions, including blankets, mattresses, and food supplies. But many were walking.

Hisham Al-Sayegh said he saw four Killing peopleWhich forced him to leave with his family as the bombing intensified in the area.

“There are dead people on the ground. We left them behind. There are people killed inside the houses,” Al-Sayegh said. “We expected death at any moment.”

Jamal Al-Rouzi, an aid worker displaced near Khan Yunis, said he was forced to flee to Rafah on Wednesday after heavy bombing of the area.

“We had three horrific nights,” Al Rouzi, executive director of the National Rehabilitation Association, told CNN in an audio message.

“We had to evacuate again… because the area we were in was being bombed,” he said. “It was a heavy bombing and we were not safe there.”

CNN’s Abeer Salman, Tim Lister, Hamdi Al Khashali and Sana Nour Haq contributed reporting.

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