DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip — Israeli ground forces attacked Hamas militants and infrastructure on Tuesday in northern Gaza, which the military said some 800,000 people have fled since the war began more than three weeks ago, even as warplanes continued to strike from end to end of the sealed-off territory.
Buoyed by the first successful rescue of a captive held by Hamas, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected calls for a cease-fire and again vowed to crush the militant group's ability to govern Gaza or threaten israel following its bloody Oct. 7 rampage, which ignited the war.
More than half the territory's 2.3 million Palestinians have fled their homes, with hundreds of thousands sheltering in packed U.N.-run schools-turned-shelters or in hospitals alongside thousands of wounded patients. Israeli strikes have hit closer to several northern hospitals in recent days, alarming medics.
The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, known as UNRWA, says nearly 672,000 Palestinians are sheltering in its schools and other facilities — four times their capacity. Thousands of people broke into its aid warehouses over the weekend to take food, as supplies of basic goods have dwindled.
There has been no central electricity in Gaza for weeks, and Israel has barred the entry of fuel needed to power emergency generators for hospitals and homes.
UNRWA head Philippe Lazzarini accused Israel of “collective punishment”…