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Israel claims air strike on Gaza UN food center killed Hamas fighter

Immigration News

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Israel said that a UN food distribution center in Southern Gaza was targeted by an airstrike, resulting in the death of a Hamas commander, according to a Reuters report on Wednesday.

The Israeli military identified the Hamas commander as Mohammad Abu Hasna, stating he was involved in gathering intelligence on the positions of Israeli troops and manipulating the distribution of humanitarian aid to benefit Hamas militants.

Hamas acknowledged Abu Hasna as a member of its police force and criticized his killing as a dishonourable act aimed at disrupting the distribution of aid.

Among the deceased was Nidal al-Sheikh Eid, recognized by Hamas as the leader of an emergency committee in Rafah. In this area, a significant portion of Gaza’s population seeks refuge.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) reported one of its facilities in Rafah was struck, affecting an area sheltering over half of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents.

UNRWA disclosed that among the casualties was a staff member, with 22 others injured. The facility’s coordinates had previously been communicated to the Israeli forces.

Philippe Lazzarini, the head of UNRWA, emphasized the gravity of the attack, highlighting the dire food scarcity and the onset of famine in parts of Gaza.

Contrary to Israeli accusations of diverting food aid, Hamas denies such actions, accusing Israel of leveraging famine as a pressure tactic against the Palestinians.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his intent to replace UNRWA with other organizations, alleging connections between the agency and Hamas militants without disrupting aid distribution.

In the U.S., Secretary of State Antony Blinken commented on the incident, underscoring Israel’s duty to safeguard humanitarian workers despite the complexities of operating in a conflict zone.

As the Gaza conflict enters its sixth month, the U.N. warns of a looming famine threatening over half a million Gazans, urging Israel to improve access to the enclave.

Efforts to alleviate the crisis include new aid delivery routes, with Israel facilitating aid to northern Gaza and international efforts to establish a sea corridor for supplies, as the U.N. and other entities work to mitigate the humanitarian crisis amid ongoing hostilities.

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