Israeli troops have surrounded "Gaza City" as telecoms hit by another outage

Israeli troops have surrounded "Gaza City" as telecoms hit by another outage

Shafaq News/ The Gaza Strip has come under its third total communications outage since the start of the war, while Israel's military announced it had encircled Gaza City and divided the besieged coastal territory into two.

"Today there is north Gaza and south Gaza," Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari told reporters, calling it a "significant stage* in Israel's war against the Hamas Palestinian group. Israeli media reported that troops are expected to enter Gaza City within 48 hours.

But the" new collapse in connectivity" across Gaza reported by internet access advocacy group, and confirmed by Palestinian telecom company Paltel, made it even more complicated to share details on the new stage of the military offensive.

"We have lost communication with the vast majority of the UNRWA team members," UN Palestinian refugee agency spokeswoman Juliette Touma told the Associated Press. The first Gaza outage lasted 36 hours and the second one for a few hours, complicating efforts to share events on the ground.

Earlier on Sunday, Israeli planes struck two central Gaza refugee camps, killing at least 53 people and wounding dozens, health officials said.

Israel said it would press on with its offensive to crush Hamas, despite appeals for even brief pauses to get aid to desperate civilians.

Gaza's Health Ministry said more than 9,700 Palestinians have been killed in the territory in nearly a month of war, a number likely to rise as Israeli troops advance into dense urban neighbourhoods.

Air strikes hit the Maghazi refugee camp overnight, killing at least 40 people and wounding 34 others, the Health Ministry said. An AP reporter at a nearby hospital saw eight dead children, including a baby, brought in after the strike.

Another air strike hit a house near a school at the Bureji refugee camp in central Gaza, and staff at al-Aqsa Hospital said at least 13 people were killed. The camp is home to an estimated 46,000 people and was struck on Thursday as well.

Despite appeals and overseas demonstrations, Israel has continued its bombardment across the Gaza Strip, saying it is targeting Hamas and accusing it of using civilians as human shields.

Critics say Israel’s strikes are often disproportionate, considering the large number of civilians killed. Large areas of residential neighbourhoods in northern Gaza have been levelled by air strikes. The UN office for humanitarian affairs says more than half the remaining residents, estimated at around 300,000, are sheltering in UN-run facilities.

Israeli planes again dropped leaflets instructed the civilians to head south during a four-hour window on Sunday. Crowds were walking down Gaza's main north-south highway carrying baggage, pets, and pushing wheelchairs

The UN said about 1.5 million people in Gaza, or 70% of the population, have fled their homes. Food, water, and the fuel needed for generators that power hospitals and other facilities is running out. No fuel has come for nearly one month, the UN Palestinian refugee agency said.

In the occupied West Bank, at least two Palestinians were shot dead during an Israeli arrest raid in Abu Dis, just outside of Jerusalem, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

At least 150 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank since the start of the war, mainly during arrests.

Many Israelis have called for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign and for the return of roughly 240 hostages held by Hamas.

He has refused to take responsibility for the October 7 Hamas attack that killed more than 1,400 people. Ongoing rocket fire from Lebanon and Gaza has forced tens of thousands of Israelis to evacuate their settlements.

Nearly 10,000 Palestinians were killed in Israel's brutal offensive on Gaza. At least 4,008 are reportedly children.

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