Humanitarian crisis worsens in Gaza as Israel-Hamas war rages: Live updates

11:57 a.m. ET, December 30, 2023

Israel reports fighting in north as it expands operations in southern and central Gaza

Even as Israel pushes on in central and southern Gaza, where it has announced it is extending operations, fighting also continues in the north of the territory.

On Saturday, the IDF reported fighting in the northern Shejaiya area, where “ground troops located a terrorist cell operating adjacent to the forces, and a terrorist armed with an RPG. The troops directed an IDF aircraft that struck and eliminated the cell.” 

And in Beit Lahia, which has already seen extensive destruction, the IDF said “two Hamas military compounds were dismantled by the troops, who had located numerous weapons, explosive devices, guns, military equipment, communication devices in the compounds prior to the strike.”

The IDF said that in Gaza City — also in the north — ground troops and aircraft killed “dozens of terrorists.”

Hamas’ military wing, Al Qassam Brigades, says it continues to fight Israeli forces in many parts of Gaza, including the Al-Bureij refugee camp in the center of the enclave.

A long war lies ahead: Israel’s initial focus following the October 7 attacks was northern Gaza, before it expanded its operations to the south.

Israel aims to destroy Hamas after their surprise attacks left 1,200 Israelis dead, as well as bring back the hostages the militant group captured.

Its military has warned the war could last “many more months.”

As of Saturday, the Hamas-run Ministry of Health in Gaza says nearly 21,700 people have been killed in the enclave during Israel’s offensive.

CNN is unable to independently confirm figures provided by the IDF and Gaza ministry, due to restricted access to the region and the difficulty in verifying accurate numbers amid an ongoing conflict.

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