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(Photo: Bashar Taleb/AFP via Getty Images via CNN Newsource)

Israel launches air assault on central Gaza

June 4, 2024

(CNN) — The Israeli military launched a new ground and air assault in central Gaza on Tuesday, as its forces ramped up attacks amid a deepening humanitarian crisis.

The IDF claimed Tuesday afternoon local time that fighter jets were attacking Hamas targets in the Bureij area “at the same time as ground forces that are operating in a targeted manner and with intelligence guidance,” in the same area.

CNN cannot independently verify the IDF’s statement.

The Ministry of Health in Gaza said that 15 people had been killed and dozens injured during the Israeli operation, with the casualties occurring east of the Bureij and Al-Maghazi displacement camps.

It said the local Al Aqsa Martyrs Hospital was overwhelmed with admissions.

A CNN producer in the area said that at least six bodies had been brought to the hospital, along with more than 30 injured people.

Among those killed were a father and his 12-year-old son, when an artillery shell hit an apartment building east of Al Bureij, according to the CNN producer, as well as a boy and a girl.

A woman in her 20s was also killed.

The ministry said the number of patients was more than three times the hospital’s normal capacity and that it was unable to bear receiving more martyrs and injuries in light of this dangerous aggression against civilians, children and women.”

It called on the World Health Organisation to visit the hospital.

Witnesses say civilians started to leave the Bureij area – heading towards the coast – after military activity there intensified.

Another CNN producer reported tank fire in recent days from the east-west Netzarim corridor that the IDF has carved through central Gaza towards neighbourhoods south of Gaza City.

He said there had been a limited ground incursion in the same neighbourhoods over the past three days.

Israel launched its military offensive in Gaza on October 7 after the militant group Hamas, which governs Gaza, killed at least 1,200 people and abducted more than 250 others.

Israeli attacks in Gaza have since killed at least 36,550 Palestinians and injured another 82,959 people, according to the Ministry of Health there.

CNN cannot independently confirm the figures.

Palestinians mourn relatives killed in an Israeli bombardment in the Bureij area of central Gaza on June 4. (Bashar Taleb/AFP via Getty Images via CNN Newsource)

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