New Delhi: Gaza's largest refugee camp was hit by a series of powerful explosions on Tuesday, killing many people. The Israeli military claimed that the airstrikes that caused the explosions killed a Hamas commander linked to the October 7 attacks.
Nine Israeli soldiers were killed in Gaza today, bringing the total number of Israeli troops killed since the October 7 attacks to 326. Two other soldiers were injured, the Israeli military said.
Internet and communications were cut off in the Gaza Strip today. "To our good people in the beloved country, we are sorry to announce that communications and internet services have been completely cut off in Gaza," the Palestine Telecommunications Company (Paltel) said on X. The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military wing has vowed to turn Gaza into a "graveyard" for Israeli forces.
Egypt strongly denounced Israel's "inhumane targeting of a residential block" and said it would open the Rafah border crossing to admit wounded Palestinians for medical treatment. This is the first time Cairo has agreed to open the crossing to civilians since the conflict began.
The airstrikes took place amidst international calls for an end to the violence and a worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The health ministry had reported 8,525 deaths, including 3,542 children and 2,187 women, just hours before the attack.
Despite the death count rising, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu strongly refused any avenue for a ceasefire, adding that such appeals were "a call for Israel to surrender to Hamas, to surrender to terrorism, to surrender to barbarism".
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will once again visit Israel on Friday. "Secretary Blinken will travel to Israel on Friday for meetings with members of the Israeli government, and then will make other stops in the region," State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said.
The United Nations said on Tuesday that the besieged Gaza Strip has become a "graveyard" for thousands of children. "Our gravest fears about the reported numbers of children killed becoming dozens, then hundreds, and ultimately thousands were realised in just a fortnight," the UN said.
Over at West Bank, the Palestinian territory under Israeli occupation since the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, at least 122 Palestinians have been killed since the October 7 attacks. On Tuesday, the home of Hamas leader Saleh al-Aruri was demolished by the Israeli army.
Israel said its forces entered Arura, a village near Ramallah, and opened fire at people who were "hurling" rocks towards them during the demolition.
The European Union strongly condemned the attacks by Israeli forces on Palestinians in West Bank. The ongoing crisis has raised global concerns with Bolivia announcing on Tuesday that it was severing diplomatic ties with Israel. The Bolivian government "has decided to cut diplomatic relations with the State of Israel, in repudiation and condemnation of the aggressive and disproportionate Israeli military offensive being carried out in the Gaza Strip," deputy foreign minister Freddy Mamani said.