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Three Palestinian journalists killed as Israeli warplanes strike western Gaza

Deceased Palestinian journalist Saeed al-Taweel (Photo via social media)

Three Palestinian journalists have been killed after Israeli military aircraft launched a new wave of aerial raids against targets across the besieged Gaza Strip.

According to a written statement by Salama Marouf, the head of the Media Office in Gaza, journalists Saeed al-Taweel and Mohammad Sobh were killed in the airstrike on a residential building in western parts of the enclave early on Tuesday, while they were covering the evacuation of a threatened building.

Another journalist who was with them, Hisham al-Nawajha, was injured during the raid and later succumbed to his wounds.

The office said the journalists were clearly identifiable as press members. They were wearing safety gear and distinctive journalist markings, which the office said should have been easily discernible to the aircraft.

“Hours earlier, we had cautioned about the occupation’s aggressive intentions towards journalists and media entities, especially after several media headquarters were alerted to evacuate. This appears to be an attempt to muffle the truths they report,” the statement said.

Earlier on Monday evening, the Committee to Protect Journalists reported that three other Palestinian journalists had been killed since the breakout of hostilities.

One was wounded and two others were reported missing since Saturday.

Number of displaced people in Gaza exceeds 187,518: UN

Meanwhile, the UN humanitarian relief agency says mass displacement has escalated in the Gaza Strip over the past 24 hours, with more than 187,518 Palestinians believed to have fled their homes.

The number is expected to increase as Israeli bombardment of the enclave continues.

The UN said over 137,427 of the displaced people are taking shelter in schools run by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), but the facilities are nearing capacity as Israel continues its heavy bombardment of the besieged Gaza Strip.

The world body further said the fighting has already forced the UNRWA to close all 14 food distribution centers in Gaza, leaving half a million people without vital food aid.

Since strikes began in Gaza on October 7, 13 healthcare facilities have been hit.

Israeli airstrikes have also damaged three facilities used for water, sanitation and hygiene, undermining services to over 400,000 in Gaza City and the northern area of the Gaza Strip, the UN also said.

Russia accuses US of inflaming tensions

Meanwhile, Russia has accused the United States of “a destructive approach” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“I cannot but fail to mention the destructive policy of the United States which thwarts collective efforts within the framework of the [so-called] Quartet of international mediators,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters after meeting in Moscow with Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

He said the US wanted to “monopolize” dialogue between Palestinians and Israelis, with the aim of moving away from the creation of a Palestinian state, and instead focusing on the socio-economic problems of Palestinians.

Palestinian medical authorities say more than 700 people have been killed and many more injured as a result of Israeli bombardment across the Gaza Strip.

Hospital officials in the Strip have recorded the death of 704 civilians and injury of nearly 4,000 others. Many buildings, homes and public facilities have also been badly damaged due to heavy Israeli bombardments.

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