UN shelter hit by Israeli shelling in south Gaza

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GAZA STRIP (TLTP): Tank shelling on a UN shelter on Wednesday killed at least nine people in Gaza’s main southern city of Khan Yunis, said the Gaza head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.

“Two tank rounds hit building that shelters 800 people — reports now nine dead and 75 injured,” Thomas White, UNRWA’s Gaza director, said on X, formerly Twitter.

Meanwhile, heavy Israeli bombardment of Gaza overnight killed at least 125 people, the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory said on Wednesday, against the backdrop of talks in Cairo aimed at reaching a truce.

The Israeli military says it has “encircled” the southern city and that its troops were intensifying operations “in the area of the Khan Yunis (refugee) camp”.

Gaza hospitals had received the bodies of 125 people killed overnight, the health ministry said.

The Hamas government said more than 200 people were killed, without specifying a timeframe.

The World Food Programme warned conditions in the territory were worsening.

US President Joe Biden’s Middle East envoy Brett McGurk is in the region for talks aimed at brokering a new deal to free the remaining captives in exchange for a pause in fighting.

In a relevant development, Yemen’s Houthi authorities ordered US and British staff of the United Nations and Sanaa-based humanitarian organisations to leave the country within a month, a document and a Houthi official said.

The decision follows strikes by the US and Britain, with support from other nations, against military targets of the group, which has been launching attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea that it says are linked to Israel.

The Houthis have said their attacks are in solidarity with the Palestinians as Israel bombards Gaza.

“The ministry… would like to stress that you must inform officials and workers with US and British citizenships to prepare to leave the country within 30 days,” said a letter sent by the Houthi foreign ministry to the UN’s acting humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, Peter Hawkins.

Meanwhile, an explosion went off near a vessel south of Yemen, a British maritime security agency said, in the latest suspected attack on Red Sea shipping by the Houthis.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations said it had received reports of “an explosion approximately 100 metres from the vessel” 50 nautical miles south of the Yemeni port of Mokha.

Separately, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was set to hold talks with his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Wednesday to discuss the widening conflict in Gaza.

Raisi had twice postponed his visit, initially set for November, over scheduling issues and attacks in Iran’s southeastern city of Kerman.

“During the meetings, aside from bilateral ties, there will be an exchange of views on current regional and global matters, namely the Israeli attacks on Gaza and the occupied Palestinian territories,” Turkiye’s presidency said.

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