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Israel says it has bombed terrorist command centre in Gaza hospital

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The Israeli army is continuing its fight against the Palestinian Islamist Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in the Gaza Strip, it said on Sunday, providing further details about an attack on a hospital.

Among dozens of other targets, the military bombed a suspected PIJ command centre in the courtyard of the Al-Aqsa hospital in Deir al-Balah, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said.

Four people were killed in the attack, according to the Gaza health authorities. A tent in the courtyard was attacked and 17 people were also injured, including four journalists, Palestinian media reported.

The IDF said members of the terrorist organization were in the jihadist command centre. However, the Gaza media office said the tent that came under attack belonged to people seeking protection.

The hospital itself was not damaged, the IDF said. The command centre was deliberately attacked in order to minimize damage to bystanders in the hospital, the army said, without giving details.

None of the information could initially be independently verified.

The statements came a day after the air force struck 80 positions in the coastal strip, including military sites and areas where Hamas members had been staying, the IDF said.

The army is continuing its operation against extremists entrenched in the Shifa hospital in the city of Gaza in the north of the coastal strip, according to the IDF. People were killed in several buildings of the hospital , according to reports, with the army saying terrorists were killed.

In a stairwell, soldiers engaged in a chase and exchange of fire with armed and high-ranking members of Hamas, killing them in the process.

The army also found hidden weapons in the maternity ward of the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip. Ammunition was found in pillows, blankets and walls, the IDF said.

Israel accuses the Islamist Hamas of systematically misusing medical facilities for military purposes, charges Hamas rejects.

Israel seeks to eliminate Hamas but faces growing criticism at home and abroad given the soaring number of civilian casualties and catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza.

So far, 32,782 people have been killed and 75,298 injured in Gaza according to the health authority in the Strip since the start of the war, unleashed when Hamas and other extremists killed some 1,200 people in southern Israel.

Later, the Israeli air force targeted a vehicle in neighbouring Lebanon, killing an important commander of the anti-tank unit of the Shiite militia Hezbollah.

“A short while ago, an IAF aircraft struck a vehicle in the area of Kounine in Lebanon in which Ismail Al-Zin was located. Al-Zin was a significant commander in the Anti-Tank Missile Unit of Hezbollah’s Radwan Forces,” the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a post on X.

“Al-Zin was a significant source of knowledge regarding anti-tank missiles and was responsible for dozens of anti-tank missile attacks against Israeli civilians, communities and security forces.”

The information could not initially be independently verified.

The Israeli forces also said there were further rocket attacks from Lebanon on Israeli border towns on Sunday. One soldier was injured in the process. The military attacked targets in southern Lebanon in response, they said.

Cross-border military action has become an almost daily event since the Gaza War erupted late last year.

The escalation, in which there have been deaths on both sides of the border, is the worst since the 2006 Lebanon War.

An injured Palestinian lies in a corridor at the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, following Israel bombardment. Str/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa

An injured Palestinian lies in a corridor at the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, following Israel bombardment. Str/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa

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