Israeli strikes in central Gaza killed at least 35 people Sunday, hospital officials said, as fighting raged across the tiny enclave a day after Israel's prime minister said the war will continue for "many more months," resisting international calls for a cease-fire.
The military said Israeli forces were operating in Gaza's second-largest city, Khan Younis, and residents reported strikes in the central region, the latest focus of the nearly three-month air-and-ground war that has raised fears of a regional conflagration.
The U.S. military said its forces shot and killed several Iran-backed Houthi rebels when they tried to attack a cargo ship in the Red Sea, an escalation in a maritime conflict linked to the war. And an Israeli Cabinet minister suggested encouraging Gaza's population to emigrate, remarks that could worsen tensions with Egypt and other friendly Arab states.
Israel says it wants to destroy Hamas' governing and military capabilities in Gaza, from where it launched its Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel. The militants killed some 1,200 people after breaking through Israel's extensive border defenses, shattering its sense of security. They also captured around 240 hostages, nearly half of whom were released during a temporary cease-fire agreement in November.
Just after midnight on New Year's Day, Hamas militants fired a barrage of rockets, setting off air raid sirens in southern and central Israel. No injuries were reported.
Displaced Palestinians found little to celebrate on New Year's Eve in Muwasi, a makeshift camp in a mostly undeveloped area of southern Gaza's Mediterranean coast designated by Israel as a safe zone.
"From the intensity of the pain we live, we do not feel that there is a new year," said Kamal al-Zeinaty, huddled with his family around a fire inside a tent. "All the days are the same." (AP)