Israeli Operation Kills 274 People While Rescuing Hostages

On Saturday, June 8, Israel announced that four hostages, taken from the music festival on October 7, were rescued in an operation on the Nuseirat refugee camp that killed 274 Palestinians and injured 700. International parties, including the European Union, have described the attack as “a massacre,” and Hamas’s military spokesman stated that Israel had also killed captives during the raid.

Regional sources report on the development: 

The Times of Israel stated that IDF units “reportedly entered the Nuseirat camp from an area close to the newly built American maritime aid pier and to the Netzarim corridor, an east-west passage bisecting Gaza north of the camp which has been held by the IDF and is used as a jumping-off point for raids in northern and central Gaza.” According to eyewitnesses, “other special forces also snuck into the Nuseirat camp inside an aid truck,” though “the IDF has denied using humanitarian transports for the operation.”

While the operators freed four hostages, mostly unscathed, “for Palestinians, it was a day of horror that sent hundreds of dead and wounded flooding into already beleaguered hospitals,” Arab News explained. Gaza’s Health Ministry “said 274 Palestinians were killed and around 700 were wounded. The ministry does not distinguish between civilians and combatants in its tallies, but said the dead included 64 children and 57 women.”

The government media office in Gaza released that “dozens of martyrs and injured bodies are lying on the ground, in the streets, and inside safe homes” in Nuseirat. Further, The National reported, “ambulances and civil defence vehicles cannot reach the site due to the intense bombing and the continuing aggression by the occupation.”

Al Jazeera noted that “doctors describe the scenes inside Al-Aqsa Hospital in central Gaza as a ‘complete bloodbath,’ with one medic saying the inside of the hospital ‘looks like a slaughterhouse.’” Doctors Without Borders communicated that both the Al-Aqsa and Nasser hospitals are “overwhelmed.

Hundreds of victims from the operation were “left lying on the floor of [Al-Aqsa Martyrs] hospital with medics running to provide medical attention amid very limited medical resources.” Anadolu Ajansi echoed. A lack of fuel had prevented one of the hospital’s two generators from functioning, and “this development signals a potential ‘humanitarian catastrophe’ that could endanger the lives of numerous Palestinian patients and premature infants.”

Al-Ahram covered the condemnation of the operation by the United Nations Human Rights Office, as spokesperson Jeremy Laurence remarked: “We are profoundly shocked at the impact on civilians of the Israeli forces’ operation in the Nuseirat camp at the weekend to secure the release of four hostages.” He continued that “the manner in which the raid was conducted, in such a densely populated area, seriously calls into question whether the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution — as set out under the laws of war — were respected by the Israeli forces.”

Hamas’ armed al-Qassam Brigades said in a video posted on its Telegram channel on Sunday that three hostages were killed, including a US citizen,” according to Al Arabiya. An Israeli military spokesperson refuted this assertion.

During a press conference, The Jerusalem Post reported, the family of a freed hostage “called on the Israeli government to push through with the ceasefire and hostage deal presented by US President Joe Biden.” The family member continued, stating that “we understand that such a [rescue mission] cannot happen for 120 people, which is why we are asking the government, which had recently shrunk in size, to carry out and execute the plan that is on the table.”

Al Mayadeen noted that “American and Israeli officials consider that any operations similar to the one in which four captives were retrieved and 274 Palestinians were killed will remain an ‘exception,’ insisting that the majority of the remaining captives can be retrieved only through diplomatic means.” However, the source also cited a senior U.S. administration official, who observed “that Saturday’s retrieval has given Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu even more determination to continue the war on Gaza rather than stop it.”



(Banner image: IDF)

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