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Israel-Hamas war: Fighting intensifies in Gaza

Palestinians look at the damage following an Israeli airstrike in the West Bank Jenin refugee camp, Saturday, May 18, 2024.   -  
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Majdi Mohammed/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.


The rumble of explosions echoed over northern Gaza on Saturday as the Israeli offensive in the Palestinian enclave goes on.

Smoke clouds obscured a skyline that has been largely destroyed in seven months of war between Israel and Hamas.

Fighting has been intensifying again in the north, where Hamas has regrouped in areas Israel captured earlier in the conflict.

Since Oct. 7 Israel has stepped up raids and strikes on Gaza's cities and towns.

An Israeli fighter jet and helicopter late Friday carried out a strike in the West Bank city of Jenin. The Israeli military said it struck a compound with numerous militants inside, killing one person. 

The victim is a Palestinian militant named Islam Khamaiseh, allegedly responsible for two shooting attacks on civilians, including one in 2023 that killed an Israeli man near a West Bank settlement according to the Israeli military.

The militant group Islamic Jihad said that Khamaiseh was a leader of the Jenin Brigade, Palestinian health officials reported that 8 people had been injured in the strike

Airstrikes in the West Bank were rare before the war broke out in Gaza.

Meanwhile, in the southern city of Rafah, heavy clashes and bombardment were recorded Saturday as the Israeli military announced the first humanitarian aid had entered the besieged town.

Seven months of Israel's war in Gaza have killed more than 35,000 people, most of them women and children, according to local health officials.

Around 1,200 people, mostly civilians were killed by Hamas-led militants in the Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel which ignited the conflict. 

About 250 Israelis were taken as hostages into Gaza.

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