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Israel intensifies attacks in Gaza and orders new withdrawals in the north

Israeli attacks intensified in Gaza on Tuesday (23), in some of the heaviest shelling in weeks, residents said, while the army ordered new withdrawals in the north of the strip, warning civilians that they were in a “combat zone.” dangerous”.

Airstrikes and ground tank shelling were also reported in the central and southern regions, in what residents said was almost non-stop shelling.

In a post on social media platform X, Israeli Army spokesman Avichay Adraee urged residents of four zones in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza, to take shelter in two designated areas.

He said the military “will work with extreme force against terrorist infrastructure and subversive elements” in the region.

The new attack on northern Gaza comes almost four months after the Israeli army announced it was withdrawing its troops there, saying Hamas no longer controlled those areas.

This month, Israel also withdrew most of its forces in southern Gaza. But efforts to reach a ceasefire have failed, and Israeli bombings and attacks on territory where troops have withdrawn are making it difficult for displaced Gazans to return to abandoned homes.

During the night, army tanks made a new incursion east of Beit Hanoun, in the far north of the Gaza Strip, although they did not penetrate far into the city, residents and Hamas media said. Shots hit some schools where displaced residents were sheltering.

In Israel, where government offices and businesses were closed to mark the Jewish holiday, rocket warnings sounded in southern border towns but no casualties were reported.

The armed wing of Islamic Jihad, a group allied with Hamas, claimed responsibility for the rocket attacks in Sderot and Nir Am, indicating that fighters are still capable of launching them after nearly 200 days of war that leveled large swaths of the enclave and it displaced almost all of its 2.3 million inhabitants.

Hamas said Israel had achieved only “humiliation and defeat” 200 days after the start of its offensive.

Speaking in a video broadcast on Al Jazeera television, Abu Ubaida, spokesman for the armed wing of Hamas, called for an escalation of the conflict on all fronts and praised Iran for its first direct attack on Israel.

He also said that Hamas is maintaining its demands in ceasefire negotiations that Israel permanently end the war, withdraw all its troops from Gaza and allow displaced people to return to the north.

Israel has refused a permanent ceasefire, saying it would only allow Hamas to regroup.

Thick black smoke could be seen rising in northern Gaza from Israel's southern border. Shelling was intense east of Beit Hanoun and Jabalia and continued into Tuesday morning in areas including Zeitoun, one of Gaza City's oldest suburbs, with residents reporting at least 10 attacks in a matter of seconds along the main road. .

Night of horror

“It was one of those nights of horror that we experienced at the beginning of the war. The shelling from tanks and planes didn't stop,” said Um Mohammad, 53, a mother of six who lives 700 meters from Zeitoun.

“I had to reunite with my children and my sisters who came to take shelter with me in one place and pray for our lives, as the house wouldn't stop shaking,” she told Reuters via a chat app.

“I don’t know if we will be able to survive before this war ends,” he added.

The Israeli army said rockets fired overnight into Israel came from firing positions in northern Gaza. The Israeli army hit rocket launchers and killed several fighters overnight in what it called “targeted and precise” attacks.

“Over the past day, IAF fighter jets and other aircraft have struck approximately 25 terrorist targets across the Gaza Strip, including military infrastructure, observation posts, terrorist and launch sites,” it said in a statement.

Israel says it is trying to eradicate Hamas, which controls the enclave, following an attack by the militant group on Oct. 7 that killed 1,200 people and took 253 hostages, according to Israeli calculations.

Across the Gaza Strip, Israeli military strikes have killed 32 Palestinians and injured 59 others in the past 24 hours, according to Palestinian health authorities. They say more than 34,000 people have been confirmed dead in the seven-month war, with thousands more bodies still undiscovered.

Source: CNN Brasil

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