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Israeli strike kills health official, Gaza residents say, as Gallant visits US

An Israeli strike killed a top official in charge of ambulance services in the Gaza Strip, local health officials said on Monday, as Israel’s defense minister met with top Israeli officials. US in Washington over a possible new phase in Israel’s offensive.

Gaza’s Health Ministry said official Hani al-Jafarawi, who served as director of ambulance and emergency services in Gaza, was killed in an attack on a medical clinic in Gaza City.

The Israeli military did not respond to a request for comment. Earlier on Monday, they said they killed another man, Muhammad Salah, whom they called a Hamas operative, in Gaza City on Sunday night. It is unclear whether the two men were killed in the same attack.

According to the Health Ministry, hundreds of medical workers in Gaza have been killed by Israel’s crushing bombing campaign or trapped in the midst of ground fighting between the Israeli army and Hamas.

The meeting in the Washington area of ​​Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant with CIA Director William J. Burns and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken on Monday coincided with a potential shift in the military campaign. signaled by Israeli officials in recent days. .

On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the tense phase of Israel’s war against Hamas “is nearing an end,” although he made clear that Israel will not stop fighting in Gaza until Hamas “is eliminated.” ”.

Israel’s army chief of staff, Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi, also said on Sunday that Hamas fighters were in Rafah, the southern Gazan city that Israel invaded in May, following Hamas-led attacks on October 7, about to be destroyed. crush.

“Clearly we are getting to the point where we can say we have destroyed the Rafah brigade,” General Halevi said, adding that the brigade “was defeated not in the sense that there were no more enemies left.” terrorism anymore, in the sense that it can no longer continue to operate. operate as a combat unit.”


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