HomeWorld News78 people killed in Israeli air strike in Gaza on Christmas.

Gaza:

Pope Francis expressed grief over the war in the Holy Land, where Palestinian health officials said air strikes on Christmas Eve marked the least of the Gaza Strip’s deadliest nights in Israel’s 11-week-old battle with Hamas. 78 people were killed.

The Israeli attacks, which began a few hours before midnight, continued on Monday until Christmas Day. Local residents and Palestinian media said Israel has increased air and ground shelling against al-Burez in central Gaza.

Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said an Israeli airstrike targeting Maghazi in central Gaza killed at least 70 people, many of them women and children.

The Israeli military said it was reviewing reports of the Maghazi incident and was committed to minimizing harm to civilians. Hamas has denied Israeli accusations that it operates in densely populated areas or uses civilians as human shields.

The Palestinian Red Crescent published footage of the injured being transported to hospitals. It said Israeli warplanes were bombing main roads through central Gaza, blocking the passage of ambulances and emergency vehicles.

A separate Israeli airstrike killed eight Palestinians in Khan Yunis in southern Gaza, medics said.

The priest canceled the ceremony in Bethlehem, the Israeli-occupied Palestinian West Bank city where tradition holds that Jesus was born in a stable 2,000 years ago.

Pope Francis, presiding over Christmas, said, “Tonight, our hearts are in Bethlehem, where the Prince of Peace has been rejected once again by the futile logic of war, by the clash of arms that even today prevents him from finding a place in the world. Stops.” Eve Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Palestinian Christians first celebrated Christmas in Bethlehem with hymns and prayers, lighting candles for peace in Gaza, instead of the usual celebrations.

There was no big tree, which was the usual centerpiece of Bethlehem’s Christmas celebrations. Christmas figurines in churches were placed amid debris and barbed wire in a show of solidarity with the people of Gaza.

a deadly christmas

Fighting on the ground has intensified since a week-long ceasefire broke down at the beginning of the month, with the war spreading from the north of the Gaza Strip to the entire length of the densely populated area.

Reading Israel bombs northern Gaza, reports of increasing military losses

The Israeli military said 10 of its soldiers were killed, up from five the previous day, the worst casualties in two days since the beginning of November.

“This is a difficult morning after a very difficult day of fighting in Gaza,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Cabinet on Sunday. “The war is costing us very heavily; however, we have no choice but to continue fighting.”

In a subsequent video message, he said troops would continue fighting deep into Gaza until there is a “complete victory” over Hamas.

Israel is under pressure from its closest ally, the United States, to shift its operations to a low-density phase and reduce civilian deaths.

On Saturday, Israel’s military chief said his forces had regained operational control of a large section of the north of Gaza and would further expand the operation in the south.

But residents say fighting has intensified in the northern districts.

Islamic JI had Leader In Caero But diplomatic Objective

Diplomatic efforts brokered by Egypt and Qatar on a new ceasefire to free the remaining hostages held by militants in Gaza have made little public progress, although Washington described last week’s talks as “very serious”. Is.

Islamic Jihad, a small militant group affiliated with Hamas, said a delegation led by its exiled leader Ziad al-Nakhlala was in Cairo on Sunday. His arrival followed talks with Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh in recent days.

Militant groups have so far said they will not discuss the release of hostages until Israel ends its war in Gaza, while the Israelis say they are willing to discuss only a temporary pause in the fighting.

The delegation would reaffirm the group’s position that any hostage exchange would require the release of all Palestinians held in Israeli prisons “after a ceasefire is achieved,” the official said.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad are still believed to be holding more than 100 people hostage, 240 of whom they captured during their crackdown on Israeli cities on October 7, when they killed 1,200 people.

Since then, Israel has besieged the Gaza Strip and destroyed much of it, leaving more than 20,400 people confirmed dead, and thousands more believed to be dead under the debris.

Most of the 2.3 million Gazans have been driven from their homes and the UN says conditions are catastrophic.

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