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Israeli-Hamas war: Tanks cut off two hospitals in storming of Gaza’s Khan Younis

A picture taken from southern Israel near the border with the Gaza Strip on December 3, 2023, shows smoke billowing over the Palestinian enclave during Israeli bombardment amid continuing battles between Israel and the militant group Hamas. - Israel carried out deadly bombardments in Gaza on December 3 as international calls mounted for greater protection of civilians and the renewal of an expired truce with Palestinian militant group Hamas. (Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP)

Israeli tanks storming southern Gaza’s main city reached the gates of two hospitals on Monday, cutting residents off from trauma care as the bloodiest fighting of the new year tore through areas sheltering hundreds of thousands of displaced. Residents said bombardment from air, land and sea was the most intense in southern Gaza since the war began in October, as Israeli tanks surged across Khan Younis from the east into the western areas close to the Mediterranean coast. Video images filmed from afar showed scattered civilians wandering a ghost city, crowded with tents with abandoned laundry flapping on lines, as gunfire rattled and columns of smoke rose into the sky. Israel launched an offensive last week to capture Khan Younis, which it now says is the principal headquarters of the Hamas militants responsible for the Oct. 7 attacks on southern Israel that killed 1,200 people, according to Israeli tallies. The newest phase of the war has brought fighting deep into the last corners of the enclave now packed with those who fled bombardment that has killed at least 25,295 people since Oct. 7, Gaza health authorities said in an update on Monday. The majority of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents are now penned into two towns, Deir al-Balah and Rafah, just north and south of Khan Younis respectively. They are crammed into public buildings and vast camps of tents made from plastic sheets lashed to makeshift wooden frames. The Palestinian Red Crescent said it had lost all contact with its staff at its Al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis, main base for the rescue agency, where Israeli tanks were parked outside. Further west, advancing Israeli tanks had reached the Al-Mawasi district near the Mediterranean Coast for the first time, cutting off its Al-Khair Hospital and stationing themselves around nearby Al-Aqsa University, heaving with thousands of displaced civilians. alarabiya

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.