Israeli troops widen offensive

The Israeli military says it has 'operational control' over two areas of central Gaza.

By

World News

June 5, 2024 - 2:18 PM

Israeli forces patrol a deserted road in Tulkarem during a raid on the occupied West Bank city on May 6, 2024. The Israeli army said troops killed five Palestinian militants barricaded in a building during a 12-hour siege in Tulkarem on May 5, 2024. The already restive West Bank has seen a surge in violence since the Israel-Hamas war erupted on Oct. 7. (Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

The Israeli military said it has “operational control” over two areas of central Gaza as it carries out ground incursions and airstrikes in a possible broadening of its monthslong war against Hamas. The army said Wednesday its was fighting “above and below ground” in eastern parts of Deir al-Balah and the built-up Bureij refugee camp.

In Jerusalem, thousands of mostly ultranationalist Israelis marched through a sensitive Palestinian area of the city, with some stoking already surging wartime tensions by chanting “Death to Arabs.”

The eight-month war in Gaza has largely cut off the flow of food, medicine and other supplies to Palestinians who are facing widespread hunger. International mediators wait for Israel and Hamas to respond to a new cease-fire and hostage release proposal.

Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza has killed more than 36,000 Palestinians, according to the Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between combatants and civilians.

Israel launched the war after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, in which militants stormed into southern Israel, killed some 1,200 people — mostly civilians — and abducted about 250. Around 80 hostages captured on Oct. 7 are believed to still be alive in Gaza, alongside the remains of 43 others.

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