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Israeli Military Says Operations Killed Dozens of Militants in Gaza

Written by on February 5, 2024

Israel’s military reported Monday killing dozens of militants in the Gaza Strip, as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken returns to the region to push for a new pause in fighting.

The Israel Defense Forces said its operations during the past day included airstrikes and ground battles in Khan Younis, in southern Gaza, as well as raids in northern and central Gaza.

The United Nations said intense fighting in the Khan Younis area is pushing civilians further south, toward Rafah, where more than half of Gaza’s population has already taken refuge, many in makeshift shelters.

The U.N. estimates 75% of Gaza’s population have fled their homes, and it says the people of Gaza are facing “acute shortages of food, water, shelter and medicine.”

A proposed temporary cease-fire would bring an increase in humanitarian aid for Gaza, along with the release of hostages held by Hamas militants.

Hamas leaders have been considering the proposal for a week after it emerged from talks among Egyptian, Qatari and U.S. mediators.

Blinken’s trip includes stops this week in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, Israel and the West Bank.

“The Secretary will continue diplomatic efforts to reach an agreement that secures the release of all remaining hostages and includes a humanitarian pause that will allow for sustained, increased delivery of humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza,” the State Department said.

Israel vowed to destroy Hamas, which governs Gaza, after the militant group sent fighters rampaging into Israel on Oct. 7, killing around 1,200 people, mostly civilians, according to Israeli tallies. Hamas, which has been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. U.K, EU and others, also took about 240 people hostage.

Israel’s air and ground military operations in Gaza have killed more than 27,300 Palestinians, and injured 66,000 others, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry. The ministry includes both civilians and militants in its count, but says 70% of those killed were women and children.

Some information for this story came from Agence France-Presse and Reuters.

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