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    Israel Battles Militants in Gaza’s Main Cities, With Civilians Still Trapped in the Crossfire

    Israel Battles Militants in Gaza's Main Cities, With Civilians Still Trapped in the Crossfire

    RAFAH, Strip — Israeli forces battled Palestinian militants in Gaza's two largest cities on Monday, with civilians still trapped in the fighting even after hundreds of thousands have fled to other parts of the besieged territory.

    Israel has pledged to keep fighting until it removes Hamas from , dismantles its military capabilities and returns all of the hostages taken by militants during Hamas' Oct. 7 surprise attack into Israel that ignited the war.

    The U.S. has provided unwavering diplomatic and military support for the campaign, even as it has urged Israel to minimize civilian casualties and further mass displacement. The war has killed thousands of Palestinian civilians and driven nearly 85% of the territory's 2.3 million people from their homes.

    Residents said there was heavy fighting in and around the southern of Khan Younis, where Israeli ground forces opened a line of attack last week, and battles were still underway in parts of Gaza City and the built-up Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza, where large areas have been reduced to rubble.

    Radwa Abu Frayeh saw heavy Israeli strikes around the European Hospital in Khan Younis, where the U.N. humanitarian office says tens of thousands of people have sought shelter. She said a strike hit a home close to hers late Sunday.

    “The building shook,” she said. “We thought it was the end and we would die.”

    Hussein al-Sayyed, who fled…

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