Israel Hamas war A UN shelter in the sights of

Israel Hamas war: A UN shelter in the sights of two Israeli tanks, nine dead and 75 injured

The Gist A UN training center was attacked by two Israeli tanks this Wednesday, January 24th. An initial report said nine people died and 75 were injured.

Two tanks opened fire on a U.N. training center that had become a refuge for displaced people in Khan Younes, southern Gaza, leaving “nine dead and 75 injured,” a U.N. official said on X (ex-Twitter).

“Two tanks hit a building housing 800 people,” said Thomas White, director of the UN Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in Gaza.

Update – Attack on Khan Younis Training Center this afternoon – two tank shells hit building housing 800 people – now 9 dead and 75 injured reported@UNRWA And @WHO Team tries to reach center – agreed route with Israeli army, blocked by earthworks #Gaza

– Thomas White (@TomWhiteGaza) January 24, 2024

The Israeli army said on Tuesday it had “surrounded” Khan Younes and intensified operations there against the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas. UNRWA and the World Health Organization (WHO) attempted to contact the center on Wednesday, added Thomas White, who had previously reported “burning buildings and mass casualties.”

10,000 people were housed in this complex

Images broadcast in Arabic by Al Jazeera showed thick smoke and flames rising from the building. The entire complex houses 10,000 people, said James McGoldrick, acting United Nations humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories, deploring “another incident in which a building used for humanitarian purposes was damaged or hit.”

On Tuesday, Philippe Lazzarini, head of UNRWA, announced that the same building had been “hit during military operations” the day before, with six deaths already reported. The Israel Defense Forces told AFP they were not aware of this.

As Israeli forces continue their operations, more than a million people are crowding into Rafah, south of Khan Yunis, near the border with Egypt. The war was sparked by Hamas's unprecedented attack on Israeli soil on October 7, which killed about 1,140 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP count based on official Israeli data.

According to the Hamas Health Ministry, Israel vowed to “destroy” Hamas, which has been in power in Gaza since 2007, and launched a massive military operation that killed 25,700 Palestinians, the vast majority women, children and teenagers.