Israel continues deadly Gaza City attacks, orders evacuation of hospital

Nader Durgham

Middle East Eye  /  July 8, 2024

Shin Bet chief expected in Cairo to continue ceasefire negotiations.

Israeli forces heavily bombed several areas of Gaza City’s eastern neighbourhoods and northern Gaza overnight, killing several Palestinians and injuring many more.

While the number of casualties is not clear yet, Palestine’s WAFA news agency says that “tens” of people were killed and injured in the latest attacks on the Daraj, Tuffah and Old City neighbourhoods.

Additionally, at least 10 people were killed in an Israeli strike on a home in Jabalia, northern Gaza.

Two missiles also hit the Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City overnight, with the Israeli military ordering a full evacuation of the hospital.

Richard Sewell of the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem, which runs the hospital, called the situation “deeply distressing”.

Palestinians are also reporting that the Holy Family Parish in Gaza City, where many Palestinian Christians are taking shelter, has been declared a “red zone” by the Israeli army and put under siege.

“We are okay. The situation is very difficult, we pray for peace,” said Gabriel Romanelli, the pastor at the church, in a post on Facebook.

The information comes a day after an Israeli strike on the Holy Family School, where many displaced Palestinians are staying, killed four people.

Over 38,000 Palestinians have been killed since the start of Israel’s war on Gaza, according to the Palestinian enclave’s health ministry.

Writing for the leading medical journal The Lancet, some researchers have said that this number is likely an underestimate as collecting data in Gaza has become increasingly difficult.

According to them, by counting the indirect health implications caused by the conflict, a “conservative estimate” of four indirect deaths per direct death finds it “not implausible” that up to 186,000 deaths or more could be attributed to the war on Gaza.

As mediation efforts towards a ceasefire continue, a team headed by Israel’s Shin Bet chief is headed to Cairo to pursue negotiations.

Hamas reportedly told AFP that a ceasefire and hostage deal was possible without a “complete and permanent ceasefire”, a former key demand, as mediators reassured the group that “as long as the… negotiations continued, the ceasefire would continue”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu listed several conditions he said are non-negotiable for a deal, insisting the deal must not prevent Israel from continuing its fighting in Gaza until its war objectives are met.

Nader Durgham is a Lebanese journalist based in Beirut