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Israel's rescue raid kills 274 Palestinians

4 hostages saved while accompanying bombardment also injures nearly 700

Updated: 2024-06-10 07:16

Clockwise from top left: Former hostages Almog Meir Jan, Noa Argamani, Andrey Kozlov and Shlomi Ziv arrive in Ramat Gan, Israel, on Saturday after being rescued. ISRAELI ARMY/REUTERS

GAZA/CAIRO — Israeli forces pounded central Gaza anew on Sunday, a day after killing 274 Palestinians during a hostage rescue raid, and tanks advanced further into areas of Rafah in a bid to seal off part of the southern city, according to residents and Hamas media.

Palestinians remained in shock over Saturday's death toll, the worst over a 24-hour period of the Palestine-Israel conflict for months that included many women and children, Palestinian medics said.

In an update on Sunday, Gaza's Health Ministry said 274 Palestinians were killed and 698 were injured when Israeli special force commandos stormed into the densely populated Nuseirat refugee camp to rescue four hostages held since October by Hamas militants.

"My child was crying, afraid of the sound of the plane firing at us," Hadeel Radwan, 32, said, recounting how they fled the intense combat as she carried her 7-month-old daughter.

"We all felt that we wouldn't survive," she told Agence France-Presse, condemning "this brutal occupation that will not let us live".

Israel's military said a special forces officer was killed in the exchange of fire with militants emerging from cover in residential blocks, and that it knew of "under 100" Palestinians killed, though not knowing how many of them were militants or civilians.

Egypt condemned "with the strongest terms" Israel's attacks on the Nuseirat camp, with its Foreign Ministry calling it a "flagrant violation of all rules of international law".Jordan also condemned it.

The rescued hostages were taken to hospital for medical checks and were in good health, the Israeli military said. They were all kidnapped during the attack by Hamas militants on Israeli towns and villages near Gaza on Oct 7, which precipitated the devastating offensive on Gaza.

Hamas' raid killed some 1,200 people, according to Israeli authorities, and Israel's retaliatory bombardment and assault of Gaza has killed at least 37,084 Palestinians, Gaza's Health Ministry said on Sunday.

Abu Ubaida, spokesperson for Hamas' armed al-Qassam Brigades, said some hostages were killed during the rescue operation.

"It's a blatant lie," Israeli military spokesman Peter Lerner told CNN, refuting the claim.

On Sunday, three Palestinians were killed and several hurt in an Israeli airstrike on a house in Bureij in the central Gaza Strip, while tanks shelled parts of nearby Maghazi and Nuseirat. All are built-up, historical refugee camps.

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