Jabalya is permanent residence of Palestinians, no refugees there: Israel commander says after strike on Gaza camp

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Israel Defence Forces spokesperson Jonathan Conricus has said that Jabalya, which saw a barrage of Israeli airstrikes a day ago, is the permanent residence of Palestinians under Palestinian rule and there aren’t any refugees there. Taking to social media app X, Conricus said, “Jabalya is the permanent residence of Palestinians under Palestinian rule,” adding that it is about time to put the “fictional” refugee claims to rest. “No refugees there, just as my grandparents from Morocco and Poland who fled to Israel in 1948 are no longer refugees. Time to lay these fictional and hereditary refugee claims to rest @UNWRA @cnni,” he added.

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The Israel Defence Forces on Tuesday claimed that dozens of terrorists were killed, including the commander of Hamas’s Central Jabaliya Battalion, Ibrahim Biari, in a strike on the Jabalya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, CNN reported. The attack, claimed Israel, destroyed a militant command centre and an underground tunnel network. Hamas has however denied the presence of one of its leaders in the camp, spokesperson Hazem Qassem said in a statement. IDF noted that Biari was one of the leaders responsible for sending ‘Nukbha’ terrorist operatives to Israel to conduct a terrorist attack on Israel on October 7, according to a CNN report.

The IDF said Biari oversaw all military operations in the northern Gaza Strip since it started its ground operation. He was also involved in multiple attacks on Israel going back decades. Brig. Gen. Daniel Hagari of the Israeli military said an underground Hamas installation beneath a targeted building collapsed, toppling other nearby buildings. Israeli military spokesman Jonathan Conricus as cited by PBS said that they did not intend for the ground to collapse but Hamas built tunnels and were running their operations from there.

At least 50 people were killed in the strike and subsequent collapse, The Times of Israel reported, citing Palestinian reports. The IDF reiterated its call on the residents of the area to move south for their safety, according to the report. The foreign ministries of Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia have condemned Israel’s strikes in Jabaliya, in which Hamas, in an unverified claim, said some 50 Palestinians were killed, The Times of Israel reported. Egypt has called the airstrikes “inhumane” and a “blatant violation of international law.” It warned of the consequences of “indiscriminate attacks on civilians in and around hospitals, where they seek refuge.” Furthermore, Egypt urged the international community to intervene to stop Israeli attacks and to provide humanitarian aid to the residents of Gaza.

Jordan in the “strongest terms,” condemned the Israeli attack. It condemned the ongoing escalation in the West Bank and settlers’ violence against Palestinians, according to The Times of Israel reported. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia expressed its “complete rejection” of the Israeli Forces’ repeated “targeting of sites crowded with civilians,” according to The Times of Israel report. Meanwhile, PBS cited Palestinian telecoms company Paltel as reporting that internet and mobile phone services in Gaza were completely cut off.