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WORLD

Israeli Strikes in Central Gaza Kill at Least 11 as the US Pushes a Cease-Fire Plan

Palestinian health officials said Israeli strikes killed 11 people overnight into Monday, including a woman and three children, in central Gaza.

A strike on a home in the built-up Bureij refugee camp late Sunday killed four people, including the three children. The second strike, early Monday, killed seven people, including a woman, in the Nuseirat refugee camp.

Earlier Monday, the Israeli military said that the body of a man presumed to be a hostage was found in a community near the Gaza border that Hamas militants attacked on Oct. 7.

U.S. President Joe Biden said Friday that Israel has offered Hamas a three-phase cease-fire and hostage release deal, declaring it was time to end the fighting in Gaza and that Hamas is “no longer capable” of carrying out another large-scale attack on Israel.

Palestinians mourn their relatives killed in an Israeli bombardment on a residential building owned by the Akel family in Bureij refugee camp, at al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza Strip, Monday, June 3, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

Israel is expanding its offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, once the main hub of humanitarian aid operations. The Israeli invasion has largely cut off the flow of food, medicine and other supplies to Palestinians facing widespread hunger. Israel faces growing international criticism over the huge cost in civilian lives and the widespread destruction caused by its nearly 8-month war with Hamas.

Israeli bombardments and ground operations in the besieged territory have killed more than 36,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between combatants and civilians.

Israel launched its war in Gaza after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, in which militants stormed into southern Israel, killed some 1,200 people — mostly civilians — and abducted about 250. Israel says around 100 hostages are still captive in Gaza, along with the bodies of around 30 more.

Currently:

— Israeli leader Netanyahu faces growing pressure at home after Biden’s Gaza proposal

— Israel seeks a ‘ governing alternative ’ to Hamas in Gaza. It’s been tried and failed before

— Israel maintains a shadowy hospital in the desert for Gaza detainees. Critics allege mistreatment

— Two Lebanese shepherds killed amid ongoing escalation along Lebanon-Israel border

— Maldives will ban Israelis from entering the country over the war in Gaza

— Condemnations mount over Israeli proposal to label UN aid agency a terrorist group

— Ultra-Orthodox protesters block Jerusalem roads ahead of Israeli court decision on draft exemptions

— Parade for Israel in NYC focuses on solidarity this year as Gaza war casts a grim shadow

— Michael Douglas pays solidarity visit to southern Israel

Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Gaza at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war

Here’s the latest:

ISRAELI STRIKES KILL 11 IN GAZA

DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip — Palestinian health officials said Israeli strikes killed 11 people overnight into Monday, including a woman and three children, in central Gaza.

A strike on a home in the built-up Bureij refugee camp late Sunday killed four people, including the three children. The second strike, early Monday, killed seven people, including a woman, in the Nuseirat refugee camp.

Both camps date back to the 1948 war surrounding Israel’s creation, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were driven out of areas that became part of the new state. The refugees and their descendants make up most of Gaza’s population.

An Associated Press reporter counted the bodies as they arrived at the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in the central town of Deir al-Balah on Monday and confirmed the details with hospital records.

Israel says it tries to avoid harming civilians and blames Hamas for their deaths because the militant group places fighters, tunnels and rocket launchers in dense, residential areas. The military rarely comments on individual strikes, which often kill women and children.

IRAN’S TOP LEADER SAYS ISRAEL IS ‘MELTING DOWN’
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Monday said Israel is melting down due to its war against Hamas in Gaza.

Speaking in a ceremony marking 35th anniversary of late leader of the county Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Khamenei said “Today, the Zionist regime gradually melts down before eyes of the world’s people.” State television broadcast his speech live.

In a nearly 55-minute speech, the leader said that Israel’s response to the Oct. 7th attack by Hamas that began the war placed it in a “dead-end corridor.”

Khamenei also said that the war had derailed Israel’s U.S.-backed efforts to reach accomodations with regional neighbors, which he characterized as part of an Israeli plot to dominate the region.

ISRAELI MILITARY REPORTS SHOOTING DOWN MISSILE OVER RED SEA

An Israeli police officer on a horse disperses ultra-Orthodox Jewish men during a protest against army recruitment in Jerusalem, Sunday, June 2, 2024. Israel’s Supreme Court is hearing the cases against the military enlistment exemptions of ultra-Orthodox Jewish men as the Israeli military’s manpower has been strained by the nearly eight-month-long war against Hamas in Gaza. Its decision is expected in the coming weeks. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

TEL AVIV, Israel — The Israeli military says it shot down a surface-to-surface missile fired toward southern Israel from the Red Sea.

There were no reports of casualties or damage in Monday’s incident, which set off air raid sirens in the southernmost Israeli city of Eilat.

The military did not specify the missile’s origin, but it was likely fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who have claimed several drone and missile strikes on Israel in recent months. Nearly all the projectiles have been intercepted.

The Iran-backed Houthis have also repeatedly attacked international shipping in the Red Sea, portraying their actions as a blockade of Israel in support of the Palestinians. But most of the ships that have been targeted have no known ties to Israel.

ISRAEL FINDS BODY OF MAN THOUGHT TO BE HOSTAGE
TEL AVIV, Israel — The Israeli military says the body of a presumed hostage was found in a community near the Gaza border that Hamas militants had attacked on Oct. 7.

Dolev Yehud, 35, was thought to be among scores of hostages held in Gaza until Monday, when the military announced the discovery of his body and said he had been killed in the initial attack.

His remains were found at Kibbutz Nir Oz, where he lived and worked as a paramedic. Dolev’s wife, Sigal, who was nine months pregnant on Oct. 7, gave birth to their fourth child nine days after the attack, according to Israeli media.

Medical professionals and scientists, including archaeologists, have spent months trying to identify remains found in communities attacked by Palestinian militants in the wide-ranging assault that ignited the war in Gaza.

The surprise attack into Israel killed some 1,200 people, mostly civilians. The militants abducted around 250 people, more than 100 of whom were released during a cease-fire last year.

The Israeli government says militants in Gaza are still holding around 85 hostages and the remains of 39 others.

Israel launched a massive offensive in response to the attack that has killed over 36,000 Palestinians, according to local health officials who do not distinguish between civilians and combatants in their count.

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