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Israel strikes refugee camp as troops advance into Gaza Strip

IDF strikes hit a refugee camp amid a bombardment that overwhelmed parts of the Gaza Strip as Israeli tanks advanced into the territory.
Israeli troops and tanks continue their advance into Gaza
Posted at 7:41 AM, Oct 31, 2023

A strike by Israel on Gaza meant to target a Hamas commander in the dense northern city of Jabaliya caused massive destruction — including to a refugee camp there, killing a large amount of people in the area. 

What Scripps News observed became what the Israel Defense Forces would later call "intensified attacks" on the northern Gaza Strip.

The Israeli military announced that it carried out a wide-scale strike in Jabaliya on Hamas infrastructure. The IDF said that "it had taken over civilian buildings."

According to Brig. Gen. Daniel Hagari, a Hamas installation located underground was beneath a targeted building that collapsed, and reportedly toppled other nearby buildings. 

He said Ibrahim Biari, a commander killed in the strike, played a role in the Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

SEE MORE: Thousands break into aid warehouses in Gaza as deaths top 8,000

In a high-rise apartment building located in the Israeli community of Sderot, nearly all residents have fled due to frequent Hamas rocket attacks. The Israeli Iron Dome air defense protects the area, but those in the area only have eight seconds to take cover from an alert until either interception or strike.  

Scripps News correspondent Jason Bellini was one of those who had to duck for cover. In this case, it was an interception. 

Minutes after the "all clear," a blaze could be seen in the distance. A chat forum for Sderot's residents said that debris from the two rockets destroyed ignited large fires that could be seen burning for hours. 

SEE MORE: Scripps News' Jason Bellini forced to duck for cover during live report

The nearest Gazan city to Sderot is Beit Hanoun. Until a month ago — before the war — Beit Hanoun had a population of around 50,000 people. But as of Tuesday morning, after a night of constant air strikes, all that remains of Beit Hanoun is the charred ruins of buildings. 

Although the Israeli invasion into Gaza is shrouded in official secrecy, it appears the IDF is close to — if not already — dividing the Gaza Strip into two, after taking control of the primary interior highway.

Editor's note: Scripps News reported on the strike on the Jabaliya refugee camp during Israel's investigation into IDF's involvement. The IDF later said that it had carried out a wide-scale strike in Jabaliya on Hamas infrastructure.

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