274 Palestinians killed, 700 wounded in Israel’s attack on Nuseirat camp
GAZA: (Web Desk) Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry says at least 274 Palestinians were killed and 700 others were wounded in the Israeli air and ground raid that rescued four hostages held by Hamas.

At least 236 Palestinians were killed in Israel’s raid to free hostages Saturday, Gaza health officials have told the Washington Post.

At al-Awda Hospital, where victims were transported, there were 142 bodies, hospital director Marwan Abu Nasser told the US newspaper. Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital spokesman Khalil al-Degran said over the weekend that the hospital had at least 94 bodies. Hundreds more are believed to be wounded.

Fighter jets and ground troops killed militants, struck targets, and located tunnel shafts and weapons in Deir al-Balah and Bureij in the east, Rafah in the south and central Gaza, the IDF said.

Earlier, the IDF said on Telegram that numerous rocket launches were identified crossing from Lebanon into Israeli territory and falling in open areas in the area of Misgav Am. No injuries were reported. The IDF also said its fighter jets struck Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon.

Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip has now killed at least 37,084 Palestinians and wounded 84,494 since 7 October, the ministry said in a statement.

The Israeli military said it had attacked “threats to our forces in the area” and that a special forces officer was killed in the rescue operation.

Witnesses described scenes of chaos and bloodshed in the aftermath of Israel’s hostage rescue operation in Gaza yesterday.

One man, Abdel Salam Darwish told the BBC he was at a market buying vegetables when he heard fighter jets from above and the sound of gunfire. “Afterwards, people’s bodies were in pieces, scattered in the streets, and blood stained the walls,” he said.

One man, who said more than 40 members of his family have been killed since the conflict began in October, described to the BBC being in a house which was hit by a strike.

“As soon as these children and women entered the house, the bombing attack took place, claiming the lives of all those inside it,” he said.

Jamal Salha, a doctor at Al-Aqsa Hospital, told Al Jazeera the facility is packed with trauma patients, including children, severely hurt in Israel’s attack on the Nuseirat refugee camp on Saturday.

“In our neurosurgical department, we admitted more than 20 patients with severe head injuries,” Salha said. “One of them was a child with a head injury that required surgery. Another was a child with a head injury due to shrapnel.

“He [the child] was without his family, most probably his family were killed,” said Salha.

Hamas’s Al-Qassam Brigades have claimed that other hostages were killed during Israel’s operation to free four hostages yesterday, without providing details or proof. They also warned that conditions would worsen for remaining captives following the attack.

 “The operation will pose a great danger (for) the enemy’s prisoners and will have a negative impact on their conditions,” spokesman Abu Obaida wrote on Telegram, according to AFP.

Palestinian militants kidnapped 250 people during the 7 October attack on Israel, taking the captives to Gaza. The four freed hostages are among seven that Israeli forces have managed to rescue alive since then.

Dozens of hostages were exchanged in a November truce for Palestinian prisoners. After Saturday’s operation, 116 hostages are thought to remain in Gaza, though about 40 of those believed to be dead.

The scenes we are seeing unfold in Israel and Gaza mark a new chapter in the Middle East conflict. The consequences and scale of losses are already devastating, and the recent attack – and the war that now follows – is likely to shape global politics for years to come.

With correspondents on the ground and reporters updating this liveblog 24/7, the Guardian is well-placed to provide comprehensive, fact-checked reporting, to help all of us make sense of this perilous moment for the region. Reader-funded and free from commercial influence, we can report fearlessly on world events as they develop.

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The White House has declined to say whether President Joe Biden will meet Benjamin Netanyahu when the Israeli prime minister visits Washington next month to address the US Congress, Reuters reports.

“I don’t have anything to announce today,” Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan said in an interview with CBS, adding the two men were in regular communication.

“He’s coming to address the Congress. The president talks to him all the time,” Sullivan said.

Netanyahu is scheduled to address a joint session of Congress on 24 July. Biden has been a staunch supporter of Israel in its war with Hamas in Gaza, but there have been tensions between the two men over how Israel is conducting the war.

Biden, who is running for re-election in November, has faced criticism over his support for Israel from his left-leaning political base as the Palestinian death toll mounts from Israel’s assault.

Sullivan said he hoped a ceasefire and hostage deal would be in place that by the time Netanyahu came to Washington. Hamas must simply say “yes” to the proposal on the table, he said.

Biden, who returns to the US from France later on Sunday, welcomed the rescue by Israeli forces of four hostages held by Hamas and vowed to keep working until all hostages were released and a ceasefire achieved.