Israeli forces killed at least 24 Palestinians in three separate airstrikes on Gaza City early yesterday and the dead included 10 family members of Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh, who vowed to continue the "resistance" movement against Israel.

"There are 10 martyrs... as a result of the strike, including Zahr Haniyeh, sister of Hamas political bureau chief Ismail Haniyeh," Mahmud Basal, spokesman for the civil defence said.

Israeli tanks also pressed deeper overnight into western areas of Rafah in the enclave's south, blowing up homes, residents said.

Two of the Israeli airstrikes hit two schools in Gaza City, killing at least 14 people, medics said. Another strike on a house in the Shati (Beach) camp, one of the Gaza Strip's eight historic refugee camps, killed 10 others.

The house in Shati belonged to the extended family of Hamas political chief Haniyeh. One of his sisters was killed along with other relatives, family members and medics said.

Haniyeh, who leads Hamas diplomacy and is the public face of the group that has run Gaza since 2007, has lost many relatives in Israeli airstrikes since Oct. 7, including three sons.

Responding to the latest Israeli attack that killed his sister, Haniyeh reaffirmed the group's demands for reaching a ceasefire agreement with Israel and said killing relatives would not influence Hamas actions.

"We still maintain that any agreement that does not guarantee a ceasefire and an end to the aggression is not an agreement. Our position on this will not change at any stage," Haniyeh said in a statement.

Hassan Kaskin, a neighbour, said the Haniyeh family house was hit without advance warning before dawn. "They were 10 individuals, three of them were scattered outside the house and seven under the rubble — with no prior warning, with people around them, and there are injuries among the neighbours," Kaskin said.

In the city of Khan Younis to Rafah's north, medics said Israeli tank shelling killed seven Palestinians and wounded several other people at a tent camp in a western district.

Gaza health officials said at least 45 Palestinians had been killed by Israeli military strikes across the densely populated coastal enclave on Tuesday.

The UN Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) said chaos was taking hold in Gaza as smuggling bands form, adding to the difficulties of delivering sorely needed aid to the territory.

A high risk of famine also persists across the Gaza Strip as the conflict rages on unabated and humanitarian access remains restricted, a global hunger monitor said.
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