“Mass casualties” after a UN shelter was hit in Khan Younis during fierce fighting

According to the UN, Israeli tank fire on Wednesday damaged a structure in Khan Younis that was housing hundreds of displaced people. Israeli forces have increased their attacks on southern Gaza, pushing a steady stream of Palestinians out of the area. After a massive fire broke out at the UNRWA Khan Younis Training Center, video acquired by CNN revealed wreaths of smoke hanging above the UN shelter. Mass casualties and burning buildings. For the past two days, safe access to and from the center has been restricted. Thomas White, the head of UNRWA Affairs, stated on X that “people are trapped.

 

According to White, there were at least nine fatalities and seventy-five injuries. He also mentioned that a team from his organization and the World Health Organization was attempting to get to the scene. He added that 800 individuals are housed in the building. One of the biggest UNRWA institutions in Gaza, the Khan Younis Training Center, is housing 30,000 people in its entirety and is unmistakably designated as a UN site, according to UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini on X. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced in a statement that it had “currently” ruled out the possibility that the incident was the consequence of an IDF aircraft or artillery strike.

 

The IDF has stepped up its attack on Khan Younis over the past week, causing damage to medical facilities that are providing refuge to fleeing residents and medical personnel. According to the IDF, there are fighters from Hamas stationed in local hospitals. According to relief organizations, the blockade has impeded vital humanitarian efforts. Following the militant group’s October 7 attacks on Israel, which resulted in over 1,200 deaths and over 250 kidnappings, the Israeli military began its campaign in Gaza with the declared goal of defeating Hamas.

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