CNN

More than 50 people killed or missing in Israeli strikes on central Gaza, local officials say

Jun 22, 2024, 9:15 AM

Palestinians search for casualties at the site of Israeli strikes on houses in Gaza City on June 22...

Palestinians search for casualties at the site of Israeli strikes on houses in Gaza City on June 22. (Ayman Al Hassi, Reuters via CNN Newsource)

(Ayman Al Hassi, Reuters via CNN Newsource)

(CNN) — Fifty-two people have been killed or left missing in Israeli strikes near Gaza city on Saturday, according to the Hamas-controlled Government Media Office (GMO).

The GMO said that 38 bodies had arrived at Al Ahli Baptist Hospital and 14 people are still missing under the rubble of homes and buildings. Video from two of the areas targeted shows extensive destruction and multiple casualties after large explosions.

The Civil Defense Directorate said that a number of people remained under the rubble after Israeli aircraft targeted a house near the Batsh cemetery in the Al Tuffah neighborhood, which is east of Gaza City.

Another strike was reported against a residential block in Al Shati, another neighborhood near Gaza City.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF), in a brief statement Saturday, said that IDF fighter jets had struck “Hamas military infrastructure” sites in the area of Gaza City.

The IDF did not specify where the strikes had taken place. CNN is seeking more details.

A medical rescue worker in the area told CNN that the airstrike at Al Shati camp felt like an “earthquake.”

“There has been a targeting of Al Shati camp near Al Sousi Mosque, which was like an earthquake hitting a whole residential block.

“There are entire families under the destroyed houses.”

Local resident Abu Mahmoud Al-Karir said: “Just a while ago, people were acting normally, some were buying goods, others were at home.

“Then the occupation’s planes came and bombed this residential block. As you can see, an entire block has been obliterated. Tall buildings were leveled to the ground, now buried under the earth.”

It comes after the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said at least 22 people were killed in a strike that hit civilians sheltering in southern Gaza on Friday.

The strike hit the tents of displaced people in the Palestinian town of Mawasi, parts of which have been identified by the Israeli military as a humanitarian zone.

The IDF is reviewing the incident but said initial inquiries found “no indication” its military was responsible.

Israel has been intensifying its operation in nearby Rafah, where it launched an offensive last month as part of its campaign to dismantle Hamas in Gaza. A Gazan official said Israel’s military was pushing deeper into Rafah and was nearing the coast.

The total number of deaths in the Gaza Strip since October 7 now stands at 37,551, with 85,911 injuries, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza.

Israel launched its offensive in Gaza following the Hamas attacks of October 7, which killed around 1,200 people.

This is a developing story and will be updated. Khader Al-Za’anoun of Wafa, the official Palestinian news agency, contributed to this story.

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More than 50 people killed or missing in Israeli strikes on central Gaza, local officials say