274 Palestinians killed in Israeli raid

274 Palestinians killed in Israeli raid
RUNNING AWAY. A Palestinian runs away from an Israeli tank in the central Gaza Strip on Sunday, June 9, 2024. / AP

DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip — At least 274 Palestinians, including dozens of children, were killed, and hundreds more were wounded, in the Israeli raid that rescued four hostages held by Hamas, Gaza’s Health Ministry said Sunday, June 9, 2024.

The Israeli military said its forces came under heavy fire and responded during the complex daytime operation in central Gaza.

The killing of so many Palestinians, in a raid that Israelis celebrated as a stunning success, showed the heavy cost of such operations on top of the already soaring toll of the eight-month-old war ignited by Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack.

The Israeli bombing was “hell,” witness Mohamed al-Habash told The Associated Press. “We saw many fighter jets flying over the area. We saw people fleeing in the streets. Women and children were screaming and crying.”

The operation in Nuseirat, a built-up refugee camp dating to the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, was the largest rescue since Oct. 7, when Hamas and other militants stormed across the border, killing about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking about 250 hostage.

Israel’s massive offensive has killed over 36,700 Palestinians, according to the Health Ministry, which does not differentiate between civilians and combatants in its count. It said 64 children and 57 women were killed in the latest raid, and 153 children and 161 women were among the nearly 700 wounded.

Saturday’s events also affected fragile attempts to deliver aid. The World Food Program chief said they suspended distribution around a U.S.-built pier off Gaza because “two of our warehouses, warehouse complex, were rocketed yesterday.” When asked how it happened and whether WFP shares its locations with Israel’s military, Cindy McCain said they did and “I don’t know. It’s a good question.” It wasn’t clear if she was referring to the rescue operation. / AP

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