Israeli airstrikes crush apartments in Gaza refugee camp

A barrage of Israeli airstrikes leveled apartment buildings in a refugee camp near Gaza City on Tuesday, with rescuers clawing through the destruction to pull men, women and children from the rubble. Israel said the strike, which targeted a senior Hamas military leader, destroyed a militant command center and an underground tunnel network.

The toll from the attack in the Jabaliya camp was not immediately known. The director of the nearby hospital where casualties were taken, Dr. Atef Al-Kahlot, said hundreds of people were wounded or killed, but he did not provide exact figures.

The Israeli military said dozens of militants were killed, including a key Hamas commander for northern Gaza.

Israel aggressively defended the attack, with military spokesman Jonathan Conricus saying the targeted commander had also been a key planner of the bloody Oct. 7 rampage that started the war, and that the apartment buildings collapsed only because the vast underground Hamas complex had been destroyed.

Neither side's account could be independently confirmed.

Early Wednesday, the Palestinian telecoms company Paltel reported a "complete disruption" of internet and mobile phone services in Gaza, marking the second time in five days that Gaza residents were largely cut off from the world.

Communications were previously cut off late Friday until early Sunday, coinciding with the entry of large numbers of ground troops into Gaza as Israel said it was beginning a new stage in the war. Attempts to reach Gaza residents by phone were unsuccessful early Wednesday.

Humanitarian aid agencies have warned that such blackouts severely disrupt their work in an already dire situation in Gaza.

Several hundred thousand Palestinians remain in...

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