Rescue officials said Saturday, that an Israeli airstrike killed 76 members of an extended family, a day after the UN chief warned again that nowhere is safe in Gaza and that Israel’s ongoing offensive is creating “massive obstacles” to the distribution of humanitarian aid.
Friday’s strike on a building in Gaza City was among the deadliest of the Israel-Hamas war, now in its 12th week, said Mahmoud Bassal, a spokesman for Gaza’s Civil Defense department. He provided a partial list of the names of those killed – 16 heads of households from the al-Mughrabi family – and said the dead included women and children.
Among the dead were Issam al-Mughrabi, a veteran employee of UN Development Program, his wife, and their five children.
“The loss of Issam and his family has deeply affected us all. The UN and civilians in Gaza are not a target,” said Achim Steiner, the head of the agency. “This war must end.”
Israel declared war after Hamas militants stormed across the border on October 7, killing some 1,200 people and taking some 240 hostages. Israel has vowed to keep up the fight until Hamas is destroyed and removed from power in Gaza and all the hostages are freed.
More than 20,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s war to destroy Hamas and more than 53,000 have been wounded, according to health officials in Gaza, a besieged territory ruled by the militant group for the past 16 years.
Israel blames Hamas for the high civilian death toll, citing the group’s use of crowded residential areas for military purposes and its tunnels under urban areas. It has unleashed thousands of airstrikes since October 7, and has largely refrained from commenting on specific attacks, including discussing the intended target.