New Delhi: An Israeli Defence Forces airstrike at the Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza has reportedly killed about 50 people and injured at least 100, the Hamas-controlled health ministry has said. Israel has claimed it conducted the at least six air strikes on residential buildings at the camp to kill a senior Hamas commander, and did not comment on the dozens of deaths that had been caused.
Palestinian telecommunications company Paltel has said there is another “complete interruption of all communications and Internet services with the Gaza Strip”, The Guardian reported. Gaza had earlier lost internet on Friday, after which it had been restored.
Images from the camp after the air strikes show complete devastation, including large craters formed in the ground.
“I was waiting in line to buy bread when suddenly and without any prior warning seven to eight missiles fell,” an eyewitness, Mohammad Ibrahim, told CNN. “There were seven to eight huge holes in the ground, full of killed people, body parts all over the place. It felt like the end of the world.”
A resident of the Jabalia camp, Ragheb Aqal, told AFP that the Israeli Defence Forces’ attack felt like an earthquake. “I went and saw the destruction … homes buried under the rubble and body parts and martyrs and wounded in huge numbers,” he said.
Al Jazeera has said the attack at the camp killed 19 family members of Al Jazeera’s SNG engineer Mohamed Abu Al-Qumsan.
Al Jazeera denounces the Israeli massacre that killed 19 family members of Al Jazeera’s SNG engineer Mohamed Abu Al-Qumsan in Gaza’s Jabalia refugee camp. pic.twitter.com/NNHHY89hU7
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) October 31, 2023
Several of the injured were taken to the Al Shifa hospital. “Young children arrived at the hospital with deep wounds and severe burns. They came without their families. Many were screaming and asking for their parents. I stayed with them until we could find a place, as the hospital was full with patients,” a Medecins Sans Frontieres nurse working at the hospital, Mohammed Hawajreh, said. This hospital has said that it will run out of fuel for generators soon, leading to devastating consequences.
Israel has claimed that a “large number of terrorists” from Hamas’s Central Jabalia Battalion who had been with the commander at the time were also killed, BBC reported, and that Hamas’s “underground terror infrastructure” had been destroyed.
Leaders of several international organisations spoke out against the air strikes at Jabalia, saying this should serve as a “wake-up call” for the international community to call for an immediate ceasefire.
Melanie Ward, the chief executive of the Medical Aid for Palestinians, said the “attack [on Jabalia refugee camp] marks a new low and should serve as a wake-up call to world leaders and politicians everywhere”, Al Jazeera reported. “Their meek requests for compliance with international law are being ignored entirely; Israel has instead increased the ferocity of its indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks,” Ward continued.
At least 8,525 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks in Gaza since October 7. More than 100 more have been killed in Gaza. More than 1,400 people have been killed in Israel. Despite calls from multiple actors, the Israeli government under Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to agree to a ceasefire.
Aid workers have repeatedly said that the situation in Gaza is worsening day by day, and access to basic services and food will soon become untenable if the situation continues.
Top UN official ends term with strong letter
The director of the New York office of the UN high commissioner for human rights has resigned from his post – at which he had reached retirement age – saying that the UN has been “failing” in its role when it comes to preventing the genocide of Palestinians in the hands of Israel.
Craig Mokhiber’s letter to UN high commissioner in Geneva, Volker Turk, has made the rounds multiple times on social media.
“This is a textbook case of genocide,” he wrote in it.