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  Tuesday, October 22, 2019
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Israeli troops and tanks withdrew from a densely populated southwest suburb of Gaza
Israeli troops and tanks withdrew from a densely populated southwest suburb of Gaza City on Friday, leaving behind at least 23 Palestinian bodies and dozens more injured, the head of the region's emergency services said.

Tel Al-Hawa, a fashionable residential and administrative neighborhood, has been the subject of heavy shelling over the past 24 hours by Israeli tanks in probably one of the most intensive military operations conducted by Israel in the Gaza Strip.

Muawiya Hassanein, the director of Ambulance and Emergency Services at the Health Ministry, said from Gaza's main Shifa Hospital that "at least 23 people had been killed in the Tel Al-Hawa invasion."

Hassanein said the overall death toll in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip had reached 1,133, with another 5,150 injured. Around half of the dead are women, children and the elderly.

Gaza residents claim that no building has been left undamaged and the city's streets have been destroyed or bulldozed by Israeli troops. Israeli forces also attacked a Red Crescent hospital, setting it on fire, witnesses said.

Israel said they launched the military offensive on December 27 as part of an "all-out war" against the Hamas movement and to stop rocket attacks from Gaza on Israel's southern towns. Thirteen Israelis - three civilians and 10 soldiers - have died during Israel's 21 day offensive.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called the number of dead and injured in Gaza "unbearable," during a meeting with Israel's foreign minister on Thursday.

The UN chief's visit to Israel coincided with a large-scale military attack on Gaza City, which damaged a hospital and UN office, involved in coordinating Palestinian refugee efforts. Three UN employees were injured and the office was destroyed in the attack.

Hamas's interior minister, Said Siam, was killed along with his brother's family in an Israeli air strike on Gaza on Thursday, Palestinian TV reported. A further 20 people were reported injured.

The Israeli army said they attacked a house after receiving information that Siam, considered to be one of Hamas' most senior leaders in the Gaza Strip, was inside.

Russia urged the international community to spare no effort to implement an Egyptian-proposed ceasefire plan for the Gaza Strip.

"The initiative that our Egyptian colleagues have proposed and continue promoting is optimal, and we believe everything possible should be done to support it," Sergei Lavrov said, reiterating an earlier proposal to hold a conference on the Middle East peace process in Moscow.


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