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Israel steps up attacks in north and south Gaza as cracks widen in Netanyahu's war cabinet

ISRAELI bombers killed at least 32 people in central Gaza today, with a single strike on the Nuseirat refugee camp killing 27 — including 10 women and seven children.

Fighting has intensified again in northern Gaza, where Israel previously claimed to have dismantled Hamas’s operational capacity. Strikes on homes near the Kamal Adwan hospital were called “deeply worrisome” by World Health Organisation director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who said: “Evacuation orders, intensified bombardment, and no passage for aid across Gaza continue to put civilian lives and health at grave risk.”

Israeli air raids and artillery also pounded the Jabaliya refugee camp, with one resident saying Israeli forces “strike anything that moves.”

Jabaliya camp civil defence spokesman Mahmoud Bassal said that since Israel launched a new operation against it last week, 300 homes have been flattened and at least 150 people killed. 

Meanwhile a ninth Israeli brigade joined the onslaught against Rafah in the extreme south of the Gaza Strip. The United Nations said over 800,000 people have now fled the town, which lies against the closed Egyptian border and had become home to over 1.3 million refugees from other parts of Gaza targeted previously.

But cracks widened in Israel’s war cabinet. Benny Gantz, one of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s main rivals, said on Saturday he would quit if the government doesn’t outline a postwar plan for Gaza by June 8. 

He suggested a six-point plan himself, which includes establishing an international administration in Gaza. The proposal stops short of the indefinite Israeli control favoured by Mr Netanyahu’s far-right coalition partners but, equally, ignores Gaza’s own people’s right to a say in their government. 

It follows Israel’s Defence Minister Yoav Gallant saying he would resign if Israel decided to reoccupy Gaza, isolating Mr Netanyahu in the three-man war cabinet. He would be unlikely to retain the support of far-right figures such as National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich in his shaky coalition government if he acceded to his war cabinet colleagues’ demands.

Gaza’s Heath Ministry said today the number of people killed since Israel invaded has risen to 35,456.

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