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Israeli strikes kill at least 75 Palestinians in central Gaza

The attacks on al-Bureij and Maghazi refugee camps come as US says it is awaiting a response from Hamas regarding ceasefire talks
A person carries a Palestinian child wounded in an Israeli strike on central Gaza, 4 June 2024 (Reuters/Ramadan Abed)

At least 75 people have been killed in Israel's bombing of central Gaza over the last 24 hours, according to an Al Jazeera correspondent in the Palestinian enclave.

The central refugee camps of al-Bureij and Maghazi were the worst affected, with Israeli forces claiming to be hitting Hamas targets while ground troops operate “in a focused manner with guidance from intelligence” in the al-Bureij area.

Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, reportedly the only medical facility offering services in central Gaza, is currently “overflowing with wounded people”, many of whom are being treated on the floor, according to a spokesperson from the Gaza health ministry.

Many displaced Palestinians have since fled al-Bureij, which is one of the places hosting Palestinians escaping the southern city of Rafah following Israel’s latest operations there.

Israeli tanks have reportedly reached as far as the centre of Rafah, with questions arising over the US's alleged "red line" regarding Israeli attacks on the Palestinian city.

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Israel has accepted the latest ceasefire proposal presented by US President Joe Biden, and the parties are now awaiting a formal response from Hamas, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters on Tuesday.

“We are waiting for a response from Hamas” through Qatari mediators, he said during a briefing aboard Air Force One. 

'The Israeli response talks about opening the door for negotiations on everything with no end or timeline'

Osama Hamdan, Hamas spokesperson

“The onus is on Hamas and will remain on Hamas until we get a formal response from them,” he said, adding that he would not be surprised if the group chose to “let the war and the suffering and the violence continue”.

Hamas had initially said it viewed the proposal “positively” but expressed concern over Israel’s insistence on continuing the war.

While the three-phase plan was presented by Biden last week as an Israeli plan, the latter’s leaders have since pledged to keep fighting Hamas until the group is dismantled, and claimed the current deal allows them to do so.

Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas official, said on Tuesday that the group will not accept a deal that does not clearly include a permanent ceasefire and an Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

“The Israeli response talks about opening the door for negotiations on everything with no end or timeline… This confirms that Israel only wants one phase, where it takes its prisoners then resumes its aggression and war against our people,” he said from Beirut.

"We ask mediators to get a clear position from the Israeli occupation to commit to a permanent ceasefire and a complete withdrawal," he added.

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