VIDEO: Hamas and Israeli troops engage in intense street fighting and ambushes at close range in Gaza City as thousands of civilians flee

Friday 10 November 2023

Israeli forces and Hamas militants have engaged in intense ground fighting at close range in Gaza City as thousands of civilians flee.

Dramatic video released by Hamas shows its fighters attacking Israeli tanks with rocket launchers and exchanging fire among bomb-destroyed buildings.

The Israeli military said its troops had advanced into the heart of of the city, while the Islamist group said its fighters had inflicted heavy losses.

Hamas militants have allegedly been maintaining heavy resistance, using underground tunnels to stage ambushes, according to sources with the Iran-backed group, and the separate Islamic Jihad militant group.

Palestinian officials said a total of 10,569 people had been killed as of Wednesday, 40% of them children. Israel says 33 of its soldiers have been killed.

The Hamas video released on Wednesday showed fighters running past piles of debris and stopping to fire shoulder-propelled missiles at Israeli tanks, while others were shooting rifles from perches behind buildings and dumpsters.

Saleh al-Arouri, an exiled Hamas commander, told Hamas-affiliated Al-Aqsa TV that Israeli forces may gain control of some areas in Gaza.

"But that will not stop the resistance's fight against soldiers and tanks. The more (Israel) spreads and expands on the ground, the deeper its losses will become," he said.

Thousands of people were moving south along Salah al-Din road out of Gaza City on Thursday, the only exit route for civilians escaping an intensifying siege as Israeli tanks rolled deeper into the Gaza Strip enclave.

Displaced Gazan Khaled Abu Issa says in the video: "The Beach (Refugee Camp) is burning, the whole northern and western areas of Gaza are as well, and it even (fighting) passed the western part last night.

"They are driving people to schools, and scaring them so they would leave. What we see today is a plan for a second immigration (Nakba)."

Another displaced Gazan, Um Hassan says: "What do things look like behind us? Destruction and death. It has become here a second Palestine for the Palestinians. What more does the world want?"

Most Palestinians in Gaza are registered as refugees after their ancestors fled their homes within Israel's borders in 1948, but since 7 October more than half the enclave's population has been displaced.

Most fled on foot, carrying what they could.

As they passed Israeli tanks at the frontline they raised their arms to show their identity cards.

Beyond, in southern Gaza, there are few vehicles that still have fuel and many people have to continue walking until they can find a new place to shelter, they said.