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Israel Allows Aid Directly Into North Gaza, Raising Hopes for More

Even as Israel let the aid directly into the north, Philippe Lazzarini, the head of UNRWA, the main U.N. agency providing support for Palestinians in Gaza, said that Israeli forces had struck a food distribution center in the southern city of Rafah, killing one agency worker and injuring 22 others. He said the center was hit even though UNRWA shares the coordinates of its facilities with all parties to the war.

“Attacks against U.N. facilities, convoys and personnel have become commonplace, in blatant disregard to international humanitarian law,” Mr. Lazzarini said.

The Israeli military, in a statement, said the strike on Wednesday “precisely targeted and eliminated a terrorist,” but made no mention of others being injured. It identified the target as Muhammad Abu Hasna, who “coordinated the activities of various Hamas units,” and supplied information on Israeli military positions to Hamas fighters.

As Israel pursues its goal of eradicating Hamas, its military said on Wednesday that it had killed a senior Hamas operative in an airstrike in southern Lebanon, the latest in a series of targeted killings carried out in Lebanon after Oct. 7.

The Hamas official, Hadi Ali Mustafa, was “a significant operative in Hamas’s department responsible for its international terrorist activities,” the Israeli military said in a statement. It added that he had been involved in attacks “against Israeli and Jewish targets in various countries around the world.” It provided no further details, and its claims could not be independently verified.

In a statement, Hamas’s military wing confirmed that Mr. Mustafa had been killed but gave no indication of his role within the organization. The Israeli airstrike, on a car near the southern Lebanese coastal city of Tyre, also killed a passing motorcyclist, Lebanese state media reported.

Israel has faced mounting pressure to allow more aid into Gaza, including from the United States, which last week outlined a plan to deliver supplies by sea. On Tuesday, a ship carrying more than 200 tons of food for the territory left Cyprus, in the first test of the marine route. Military planes from several nations, including the United States, have also parachuted aid into Gaza.

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said on Wednesday that he had spoken with officials from Cyprus, Britain, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar about the maritime corridor for ships carrying humanitarian supplies. He said that land routes remain the best way to get large amounts of aid into Gaza, but only if Israel opens more border crossings.

“Israel still needs to open as many access points as possible and keep them open to make sure that things are flowing in a sustainable way,” he said at a news conference in Washington.

Aid organizations have said that a laborious Israeli inspection process has slowed down crucial humanitarian assistance.

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Nathan is an experienced journalist. He's covered a broad spectrum of topics, including politics, culture, and human interest stories, always aiming to engage and inform his audience. Nathan has a degree in Journalism and upholds the highest standards of integrity and accuracy in his work.

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