Israel expands military operation into urban refugee camps

Israel expands military operation into urban refugee camps

1 minute, 52 seconds Read

Israeli soldiers have expanded the ground offensive into refugee camps across central Gaza, claiming the settlements are used by Palestinian militants.

The Israeli military shared video of troops entering the Bureij camp, along with others, in central Gaza, after claiming it had found evidence of military activity at the locations.

A video shared by the military shows tanks and armored vehicles rolling into the camps in central Gaza.

Israeli military officials said they located a tunnel shaft, weapons and a training center in Bureij, also releasing what appears to be a video of training operations conducted there by Hamas, the Palestinian militant group Israel is vowing to destroy.

The refugee camps are typically urban areas used to house Palestinian civilians fleeing from conflict. Israel has also repeatedly struck the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza since the war began Oct. 7.

With the push into refugee camps, Israel is narrowing what few safe places remain for Gazans.

Nearly 2 million Palestinians fled northern Gaza in the early weeks of the fighting, but Israel is now fighting in southern parts of the territory, leaving civilians with smaller and smaller safe zones.

Those safety zones have also been hit by Israeli airstrikes. The United Nations has said there is no safe place in Gaza.

Israel is facing intense scrutiny for attacking Hamas in dense and urban civilian population centers, including at hospitals and other healthcare sites.

The Israeli military claims the locations it attacks are legitimate military targets because Hamas uses them to stage or prepare for attacks on Israeli forces.

More than 20,000 Palestinians have died in Gaza since Oct. 7, according to the Hamas-run Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza.

The Ministry does not distinguish between civilians and combatants, but the United Nations said about two-thirds of the deaths are of women and children.

More than half a million people in Gaza are also starving, according to the United Nations, while much of the population is struggling to access medical care and electricity, along with other basic necessities.

Israel is retaliating against Hamas for a deadly surprise attack that killed more than 1,200 people, with another 240 taken hostage. Some 130 hostages are still left in Gaza.

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