Israeli strike ‘kills 76 from one family’ as offensive expands in southern Gaza

Israeli Strike ‘Kills 76 From One Family’ As Offensive Expands In Southern Gaza
The strike on a building in Gaza City was among the deadliest of the Israel-Hamas war. Photo: AP
Share this article

By Najib Jobain and Samy Magdy, Associated Press

An Israeli air strike has killed 76 members of an extended family in the Gaza Strip, rescue officials said.

The attack came a day after the UN chief warned again that nowhere is safe in Gaza and that Israel’s offensive is creating “massive obstacles” to the distribution of humanitarian aid.


Friday’s strike on a building in Gaza City was among the deadliest of the Israel-Hamas war, now in its 12th week, said Mahmoud Bassal, a spokesman for Gaza’s Civil Defence department.

He provided a partial list of the names of those killed — 16 heads of households from the al-Mughrabi family — and said the dead included women and children.



Among the dead were Issam al-Mughrabi, a veteran employee of the UN Development Programme, his wife and their five children.

“The loss of Issam and his family has deeply affected us all. The UN and civilians in Gaza are not a target,” said Achim Steiner, the head of the agency. “This war must end.”

Israeli military spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said late on Friday that forces are widening the ground offensive “to additional areas of the strip, with a focus on the south”.


He added that operations were also continuing in the northern half of Gaza, including Gaza City, the initial focus of Israel’s ground offensive.

The army said on Saturday that it carried out air strikes against Hamas fighters in several locations of the city.

The army also said it had transferred more than 700 alleged militants from Gaza to Israel for further questioning, including more than 200 over the past week, providing rare details on a controversial policy that involves mass round-ups of Palestinian men.

Palestinians have reported such round-ups in areas of northern Gaza, where ground troops are in control, saying this typically involves all teenage boys and men found in a location being searched by troops.


Some of the released detainees said they were stripped to their underwear, beaten and held for days with minimal water. The military has denied abuse and said those without links to militants were quickly released.

Israel Palestinians
Palestinians wounded in Israeli air strikes arrive at Nasser hospital (Mohammed Dahman/AP)

The military says it has killed thousands of Hamas militants, including about 2,000 in the past three weeks, but it has not presented any evidence. It says 139 of its soldiers have been killed in the ground offensive.


Israel declared war after Hamas militants stormed across the border on October 7, killing 1,200 people and taking 240 hostages. Israel has vowed to keep up the fight until Hamas is destroyed and removed from power in Gaza and all the hostages are freed.

More than 20,000 Palestinians have been killed and 53,000 wounded, according to health officials in the besieged territory.

Israel blames Hamas for the high civilian death toll, citing the group’s use of crowded residential areas for military purposes and its tunnels under urban areas. It has unleashed thousands of air strikes since October 7, and has largely refrained from commenting on specific attacks, including intended targets.

On Friday, the UN Security Council adopted a watered-down resolution which calls for the immediate speeding up of aid deliveries to desperate civilians in Gaza.

The US won the removal of a tougher call for an “urgent suspension of hostilities” between Israel and Hamas. It abstained in the vote, as did Russia, which wanted the stronger language.

The resolution was the first on the war to make it through the council after the US vetoed two earlier ones calling for humanitarian pauses and a full ceasefire.

It was not immediately clear how and when aid deliveries would accelerate. Currently, trucks enter through two crossings — Rafah on the border with Egypt and Kerem Shalom on the border with Israel.

Israel Palestinians UN Security Council
The UN Security Council meeting in New York (Yuki Iwamura/AP)

As part of the approved resolution, the US negotiated the removal of language that would have given the UN authority to inspect aid going into Gaza, something Israel says must continue to ensure material does not reach Hamas.

UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres reiterated his longstanding call for a humanitarian ceasefire. He expressed hope that Friday’s resolution may help this happen but said “much more is needed immediately” to end the “nightmare” for the people in Gaza.

He told a news conference that it would be a mistake to measure the effectiveness of the humanitarian operation in Gaza by the number of trucks.

“The real problem is that the way Israel is conducting this offensive is creating massive obstacles to the distribution of humanitarian aid inside Gaza,” he said.

He added that the prerequisites for an effective aid operation — security, staff who can work in safety, logistical capacity and the resumption of commercial activity – do not exist.

Israel’s aerial and ground offensive has been one of the most devastating military campaigns in recent history, displacing nearly 85% of Gaza’s 2.3 million people and levelling wide areas of the tiny coastal enclave.

More than half a million people in Gaza are starving, according to a report this week from the UN and other agencies.

Read More

Message submitting... Thank you for waiting.

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© 2024, developed by Square1 and powered by