At least 18 killed in Israeli strikes in central Gaza, hospital officials say

At least 18 people have been killed in fresh Israeli strikes in central Gaza on Saturday, hospital officials said.

The bodies were brought to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, according to a spokesperson for the facility, Dr. Khalil Al Daqran.

Daqran told CNN that the victims had been killed by Israeli shelling in the areas of Deir al-Balah and Al Nusairat refugee camp. 

The Palestinian Wafa news agency reported that Israeli warplanes had bombed a house on Al-Eshrin street, east of the camp, killing at least 18 people and wounding dozens of others.

Key context: A spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces has urged residents of central Gaza — including Al-Bureij camp and the areas south of Wadi Gaza, which are near Al Nusairat — to move further south, warning in a statement Friday that the IDF was working “forcefully” against Hamas.

The head of the main United Nations agency working in Gaza has criticized the move, saying that for more than 150,000 people in the affected areas, 'No place is safe, nowhere to go.'"

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has said Israel's goals in northern Gaza are being “gradually” completed and that the focus of military operations will shift south in the future.

CNN has reached out to IDF for further information on Saturday's strikes.

Approximately 20,000 people have been killed by Israeli attacks in Gaza since October 7, the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health says.

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