Israeli airstrikes hit a densely populated refugee camp in Gaza’s southern city of Khan Younis on Thursday, leveling more than eight homes belonging to the extended Abu Shamala family.

The strikes in Khan Younis left at least 15 dead and several injured.

They were the latest in a rain of Israeli airstrikes on the crowded Gaza Strip that has killed thousands of people, the majority of them women and children.

The Israel-Hamas war, in its 20th day on Thursday, started after Hamas militants from the Gaza Strip blew through Israel’s highly fortified separation wall on October 7, and attacked an open-air music festival and Israeli border communities.

They killed scores of people and abducted men, women, and children – including elderly and disabled.

Israel launched airstrikes on the Gaza Strip and sealed it off from food, fuel and other supplies in retaliation for the bloody incursion, vowing to destroy the militant group.

The war is the deadliest of five Gaza wars for both sides.

The Gaza Health Ministry says more than 6,500 Palestinians have been killed in the war. That figure includes the disputed toll from an explosion at a hospital last week.

The Associated Press couldn’t independently verify the death toll.

The fighting has killed more than 1,400 people in Israel, mostly civilians slain during the initial Hamas attack, according to the Israeli government. Hamas also holds at least 224 hostages in Gaza.

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