Israel Steps Up Gaza Attacks, Some Hostages Reportedly Held In Central Area

Israel Steps Up Gaza Attacks, Some Hostages Reportedly Held In Central Area

Dec. 28, 2023, 7:25 a.m.

Israeli forces appear to be intensifying their offensive in the central and other parts of the Gaza Strip, while a media report says Hamas may be holding some hostages in the central area.

The military is believed to have carried out a large airstrike in central Gaza on Wednesday. Footage posted on social media shows black smoke rising from the Bureij refugee camp.

The military said on Tuesday it had expanded its ground operation to the central area of the enclave, in addition to the efforts underway in the northern and southern parts. The airstrike was likely conducted to support troops on the ground.

About 130 hostages are said to still be held by Hamas. The Jerusalem Post quoted military sources as saying Hamas may have some hostages in central Gaza.

A house was bombed on Wednesday in Khan Younis in the south. The military believes Hamas leaders are hiding in the area. Health authorities in Gaza said 20 people were confirmed dead in the strike.

The authorities also said 195 people died over the past 24 hours, raising the death toll since the start of the conflict to 21,110.

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