Cheraw Chronicle

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Read a live blog on the crisis in the Middle East from Tuesday 23 January here

Read a live blog on the crisis in the Middle East from Tuesday 23 January here

Six people were killed yesterday in clashes around the UN shelter for Palestinian refugees in Khan Younis. UN for Palestinian refugees This is what the head of the agency (UNRWA), Philippe Lazarin, said in a message on X. The Israeli military says it had no knowledge of the attack on the shelter.

The Israeli military has declared the southern city of Khan Younis the center of a military offensive in the Gaza Strip, which it says is a key Hamas stronghold. Hamas political leader Yaiha Shinwar is said to be in the city. According to the army, the city is now surrounded. More than 100 militants have been killed in western Khan Yunis in the last 24 hours, an army spokesman said. Israel does not usually report civilian deaths.

Fighting is escalating, especially around hospitals in the city. According to Israel, Hamas militants will use the hospitals for their military operations. Palestinian sources told Reuters that the area around Nasser Hospital, the largest operational hospital in the Gaza Strip, is the most dangerous, with bodies to be buried on the hospital grounds.

The Palestinian Red Crescent also reported that they had lost contact with medical staff at Al-Amal Hospital, another hospital in the city. The organization's ambulances can no longer enter the city due to the protest.

According to Lazzarine, hospitals in Khan Yunis are crowded with civilians, patients and refugees. Israel has called on citizens to move to a 'humanitarian zone' in al-Mawasi, a coastal area west of Khan Yunis. On Monday, the Israeli army launched another attack on Al-Khair hospital there, Gaza's health ministry told Reuters.

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Thom Canters

Also read Foreign Editor Steven Ramdari's report on the fighting in Khan Yunis here