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Israel Releases 55 Palestinians It Had Detained from Gaza, Including Hospital Director
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By Associated Press
Published 2 weeks ago on
July 1, 2024

In a recent development, Israel has released 55 Palestinians, including the director of Gaza's main hospital, who were detained from the region. (AP/Abdel Kareem Hana)

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A Palestinian health official says Israel released 55 Palestinians on Monday whom it had detained from Gaza, including the director of the territory’s main hospital.

Mohammed Abu Selmia was released without charge or trial, after being detained in November when Israeli forces raided Shifa Hospital. In video comments aired by Palestinian media following his release, Abu Selmia accused Israeli authorities of subjecting Palestinian detainees to “daily physical and psychological humiliation.” Israeli authorities have denied such allegations.

Israel accuses Hamas and other militant groups of sheltering in hospitals and using them for military purposes. Palestinian health officials say Israeli raids have forced several hospitals to shut down or dramatically reduce services, recklessly endangering civilians. Hospitals can lose their protection under international law if they are used for military purposes.

The Israeli military says around 20 projectiles were fired from Gaza at communities near the border early Monday. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

Israel’s War After Hamas’ Oct. 7 Attack

Israel launched the war after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, in which militants stormed into southern Israel, killed some 1,200 people — mostly civilians — and abducted about 250.

Since then, Israeli ground offensives and bombardments have killed more than 37,700 people in Gaza, according to the territory’s Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between combatants and civilians in its count. The war has largely cut off the flow of food, medicine and basic goods to Gaza, and people there are now totally dependent on aid. The top United Nations court has concluded there is a “plausible risk of genocide” in Gaza — a charge Israel strongly denies.

2 People Shot Dead and 4 Wounded by Israeli Forces in the West Bank, Palestinian Officials Say

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Palestinian health officials say a woman and a teenager were shot and killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said another four people were wounded during Monday’s raid in the northern West Bank town of Tulkarem.

Israeli forces have carried out near-daily arrest raids across the West Bank since Hamas’ surprise Oct. 7 attack out of Gaza ignited the war there.

The Palestinian Health Ministry says over 550 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in the West Bank since then. Most have been killed during Israeli raids or violent protests.

Israel captured the West Bank, along with Gaza and east Jerusalem, in the 1967 Mideast war. The Palestinians want all three territories for their future state.

Israel has built scores of settlements across the West Bank that are now home to over 500,000 Jewish settlers. The settlers have Israeli citizenship, while the 3 million Palestinians in the West Bank live under seemingly open-ended Israeli military rule.

Some 20 Projectiles Are Lobbed at Israel from Gaza, the Israeli Military Says, with No Casualties

JERUSALEM — The Israeli military says around 20 projectiles were fired from Gaza at communities near the border. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage from the barrage early Monday.

The military said some were intercepted while others fell inside southern Israel.

It says they were launched from the vicinity of the southern town of Khan Younis, and that Israeli forces are striking the sources of the fire.

Nearly nine months into Israel’s massive offensive launched in response to Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, Palestinian militants have continued to launch sporadic rocket attacks, though the intensity has been greatly reduced.

Fighters have also regrouped in heavily damaged areas of Gaza where Israeli ground troops operated earlier in the war.

In recent days, fighting has erupted in the Shijaiyah neighborhood of Gaza City in the north, which was largely evacuated and heavily bombed early in the war. Tens of thousands of people have fled the area in recent days, according to the United Nations.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews Clash with Police During a Protest Against the Supreme Court’s Order to Enlist

JERUSALEM — Thousands of Jewish ultra-Orthodox men clashed with Israeli police in central Jerusalem on Sunday during a protest against a Supreme Court order for them to begin enlisting for military service.

The landmark decision on June 25 ordering the government to begin drafting ultra-Orthodox men could lead to the collapse of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s governing coalition as Israel wages war in Gaza.

Tens of thousands of men rallied in an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood to protest the order. But after nightfall, the crowd made its way toward central Jerusalem and turned violent with protesters throwing rocks and police using skunk-scented water cannons to disperse the crowd. The demonstration was still not under control late Sunday.

Military service is compulsory for most Israelis, but politically powerful ultra-Orthodox parties have won exemptions for their followers to skip military service and instead study in religious seminaries. The long-standing arrangement has bred resentment among the broader public, a sentiment that has grown stronger during Israel’s war against Hamas. Over 600 soldiers have been killed in fighting, and tens of thousands of reservists have been activated, upending careers, businesses and lives.

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