Middle East

Scores killed in Israeli strike on Gaza’s Deir El-Balah, hospital staff say

From journalist Mohammad Sawalhi in Gaza, and CNN's Kareem Khadder and Mike Schwarz in Jerusalem

At least 65 people, including women and children, were killed in Israeli strikes overnight into Wednesday in Deir El-Balah in Central Gaza, according to local health workers.

On Wednesday morning, officials at the Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital said 65 of the victims brought to the hospital had died.

Umm Shadi says in a video obtained by CNN that her daughter’s building was hit in the early hours of Wednesday morning, killing her and one of her children in their sleep. Her four surviving children are being treated in the hospital’s ICU. Shadi said there had been no warning the area would be targeted by the IDF.

“There was no warning to the building the neighborhood was fairly safe, no one told them to leave, if they have been warned to leave they would have left,” she said on camera.

The video shows several dead children and women at the hospital as their relatives grieve.

Women embrace in a corridor at a hospital in Deir el-Balah on June 4.

Women embrace in a corridor at a hospital in Deir el-Balah on June 4. Bashar Taleb/AFP/Getty Images

On Wednesday, the IDF released a statement saying “troops have started a targeted operational activity in the areas of Bureij and eastern Deir al Balah both above and below ground,” based on “intelligence” indicating the presence of Hamas fighters.

“The activity started with a series of aerial strikes on terror targets, including military compounds, weapons storage facilities, and underground infrastructure. During the strikes, several Hamas terrorists were eliminated,” the statement said.

The IDF statement added that troops are continuing operations in Central Gaza and Rafah on Wednesday.

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