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Dozens of Gazans killed and wounded in Israeli assault that Hamas warns may threaten truce talks

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By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Ramadan Abed

CAIRO/GAZA (Reuters) -Palestinians fled under Israeli fire as tanks thrust deeper into Gaza City on Tuesday while dozens were killed or wounded in an airstrike in the enclave’s south as Israel stepped up an offensive that Hamas said could jeopardise ceasefire talks.

The airstrike later on Tuesday hit tents housing displaced families outside a school in the town of Abassan east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza, Palestinian medical officials said.

The Israeli military said it was looking into the report.

On Gaza City’s front lines, the armed wings of Hamas and its ally Islamic Jihad said their fighters battled Israeli forces with machine guns, mortar fire and anti-tank missiles and had killed and wounded Israeli soldiers.

Israel’s military did not comment on casualties but said its soldiers were engaged in close-quarter combat with militants, had taken more than 150 fighters out of action in the last week and destroyed booby-trapped buildings and explosives.

The latest fighting has unfolded as senior U.S. officials were in the region to push for a ceasefire after Hamas made concessions last week. But Israel’s renewed campaign threatened talks at a crucial time and could bring negotiations “back to square one”, Hamas quoted leader Ismail Haniyeh as saying.

Footage circulated on social media showed families packed onto donkey carts and in the backs of trucks piled with mattresses and other belongings making their way through Gaza City’s streets to flee areas under Israeli evacuation orders.

“Gaza City is being wiped out, this is what is happening. Israel is forcing us to leave homes under fire,” Um Tamer, a mother of seven, told Reuters via a chat app.

She said it was the seventh time her family had fled their house in Gaza City, in the north of the enclave and one of Israel’s first targets at the start of the war in October.

“We can’t take it anymore, enough of death and humiliation. End the war now,” she said.

Israeli tanks pushed deeper into several city districts including Shejaia, Sabra and Tel Al-Hawa, where residents have reported some of the most fierce fighting in months.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said all of its medical clinics were out of service in Gaza City due to Israeli evacuation orders that have driven thousands of people westward towards the Mediterranean and to the south.

Nine months of war and displacement have caused a hunger crisis, and the recent deaths of several more children from malnutrition in the Gaza Strip indicate that famine has spread throughout the coastal enclave, a group of independent human rights experts mandated by the United Nations.

In a Khan Younis hospital, Palestinian woman Ghaneyma Joma told Reuters she feared her son would die of starvation.

“It’s distressing to see my child…lying there dying from malnutrition because I cannot provide him with anything due to the war, the closing of crossings and the contaminated water,” she said, seated on the floor next to her motionless son, who had an intravenous drip attached to his wrist.

AIRSTRIKES

In Al-Nuseirat in central Gaza, an Israeli airstrike early on Tuesday on a house of several storeys killed 17 people, including 14 children and a woman, Hamas’ media office said.

Neighbours rushed to help medics and emergency workers recover bodies and search for survivors under the rubble.

“They were displaced during the night after Al-Nuseirat camp school was hit… They said they would sleep in the house, fearing for the children and there was a massacre in the house. They are not safe in the schools nor the houses,” said Yasser Abu Hamada, a local resident.

Across Gaza, more than 40 Palestinians were killed on Tuesday in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City in the north, Al-Bureij, Deir Al-Balah and Al-Nuseirat in central Gaza and in Rafah in the south, according to medics.

The total Palestinian death toll in the nine-month-long Israeli military offensive has now reached 38,243, Gaza health officials said in their latest update.

The war erupted when militants led by Hamas infiltrated southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people and taking around 250 hostages back to Gaza, according to Israeli figures.

Hopes among Gazans of a pause in the fighting had revived after Hamas last week accepted a key part of a U.S. ceasefire proposal. Qatari and Egyptian mediators, backed by the United States, have accelerated efforts this week and talks will resume in Doha on Wednesday, Egypt’s state-affiliated media said.

© Reuters. A Palestinian inspects a house destroyed in an Israeli strike, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, in Nusairat refuge camp, in the central Gaza Strip, July 9, 2024. REUTERS/Ramadan Abed

An Egyptian security delegation will head to Qatar’s capital “on a mission to bring viewpoints closer between Hamas and Israel in order to reach a truce agreement as soon as possible”, Al-Qahera News quoted a senior source as saying.

“There is an agreement over many points,” the senior source said, adding the negotiations will return to Cairo on Thursday.

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Citi maintains Neutral on Terex shares, cites ESG business purchase

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On Monday, Terex Corporation (NYSE:) maintained its Neutral rating with a steady stock price target of $60.00, as announced by Citi. Terex disclosed it has signed an agreement to purchase Dover’s Environmental Solutions Group (ESG) business, which includes refuse vehicles and compaction equipment.

The deal is valued at $2 billion in gross terms, with a net purchase price of approximately $1.725 billion after accounting for the present value of roughly $275 million in tax benefits.

The net purchase price is approximately 9.6 times ESG’s projected 2024 EBITDA, with the multiple decreasing to around 8.4 times after factoring in the expected synergies of about $25 million. Terex anticipates the acquisition will be accretive to its adjusted earnings per share (EPS) by double digits in 2025. The acquisition is seen as beneficial, enhancing Terex’s business narrative and providing clear cost and revenue synergies.

Despite the premium paid over Terex’s current enterprise value to EBITDA multiple, the acquisition is considered potentially advantageous for Terex.

Success hinges on the company’s ability to realize the targeted synergies, the promised accretion to EPS, and ESG’s ability to deliver the forecasted mid-single-digit long-term compound annual growth rate (CAGR) with minimal business cyclicality. The transaction is slated for completion in the fourth quarter of 2024.

In other recent news, Terex Corporation has acquired Environmental Solutions Group (ESG) from Dover Corporation (NYSE:) in a deal valued at $2.0 billion, expanding its market reach. The acquisition, expected to close in the second half of 2024, will enhance Terex’s position in the waste and recycling sector. ESG’s integration will create a new Environmental Solutions segment within Terex, combining it with Terex’s existing Utilities business.

In other developments, Dover Corporation’s first-quarter earnings exceeded analyst estimates, with an adjusted EPS of $1.95, surpassing the expected $1.87. Revenue for the quarter also surpassed expectations, reaching $2.09 billion against the consensus estimate of $2.04 billion.

In analyst notes, Mizuho Securities has revised its outlook on Dover, raising its price target to $185 from the previous $180. The firm also revised its earnings per share estimates for Dover for 2024 and 2025, increasing them to $9.10 and $9.75, respectively. These recent developments indicate a positive outlook for Dover’s financial future.

This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.

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Israeli parliament votes to label UN relief agency a terror organisation

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The Israeli parliament gave preliminary approval on Monday to a bill that declares the main United Nations relief organization for Palestinians a terrorist organisation and proposes to sever relations with the body.

The vote against the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) is the latest step in a Israeli push against the agency, which Israeli leaders have accused of collaborating with the Islamist movement Hamas in Gaza.

The bill was approved in a first reading and will be returned to the foreign affairs and defence committee for further deliberation, the Knesset information service said.

The bill’s sponsor, Yulia Malinovsky, was quoted as describing UNRWA as a “fifth column within Israel”.

UNRWA provides education, health and aid to millions of Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. It has long had tense relations with Israel but relations have deteriorated sharply since the start of the war in Gaza and Israel has called repeatedly for UNRWA to be disbanded.

“It’s another attempt in a wider campaign to dismantle the agency,” UNRWA spokesperson Juliette Touma said. “Such steps are unheard of in the history of the United Nations.”

Israel has said hundreds of UNRWA staff are members of terrorist groups, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, but has yet to provide evidence to a U.N.-appointed review.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) sign lies on the ground, amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas,  at the Kerem Shalom crossing in southern Israel, May 30, 2024. REUTERS/Amir Cohen/File Photo

Several donor countries halted funding to UNRWA following the Israeli accusations but many have since reversed the decision, including Britain which said last week it would resume funding.

Both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority condemned the Israeli vote, and Hussein Al-Sheikh, a senior ally of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, called on the international community to resist attempts to dissolve the agency.

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Israel sends tanks back into Khan Younis area, 70 killed after new evacuation order

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By Nidal al-Mughrabi, Ari Rabinovitch and Hatem Khaled

CAIRO/JERUSALEM/GAZA (Reuters) -Israel sent tanks back into the greater Khan Younis area and at least 49 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire, Gaza medics said on Monday, after ordering evacuations of some districts it said had been used for renewed attacks by militants.

The Palestinians were killed by tank salvoes in the town of Bani Suhaila and other towns fringing the eastern side of Khan Younis, with the area also bombarded by air, they said.

Residents of the densely built-up area of southern Gaza said the tanks advanced for more than two kilometres into Bani Suhaila, forcing residents to flee under fire.

“It is like doomsday,” one resident, who only identified himself as Abu Khaled, told Reuters via chat app. “People are fleeing under fire, many are dead and wounded on the roads.”

The Gaza health ministry said the dead included several women and children and that at least 186 other people had been injured by Israeli fire. The Gaza ministry does not distinguish between militants and civilians in its death tallies.

Around 400,000 people are living in the targeted areas and dozens of families have begun to leave their houses, Palestinian officials said, adding they were not given time to get out of harm’s way before the Israeli strikes began.

Some families fled on donkey carts, others on foot, carrying mattresses and other belongings.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said two of its clinics located in eastern Khan Younis had been knocked out of operation because of the new Israeli offensive.

At Khan Younis’ Nasser Hospital, some people stood outside the morgue to bid farewell to dead relatives.

“We are tired, we are tired in Gaza, every day our children are martyred, every day, every moment,” said Ahmed Sammour, who lost several relatives in bombings of eastern Khan Younis.

“No one told us to evacuate. They brought four floors crashing down on civilians… and the bodies they could reach, they brought to the refrigerator (morgue),” Sammour added.

There was no immediate Israeli comment on the strikes on the eastern side of Khan Younis, whose population initially fled their homes when Israeli tanks stormed in several months ago, before returning after they withdrew to rebuild their lives.

In nearby Deir Al-Balah, where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are sheltering, an Israeli airstrike hit a tent used by local journalists inside Al-Aqsa Hospital, killing one of them and wounding two other people, the Hamas-run Gaza government media office said.

The new death raised the number of Palestinian journalists killed in the Israeli offensive to 163, it added.

EVACUATION ORDERS

Earlier on Monday, the Israeli military said it had issued new evacuation orders due to renewed Palestinian militant attacks, including rockets launched from the targeted areas in eastern Khan Younis. The orders did not include health institutions, Palestinians said.

The military said it was adjusting the boundaries of a designated humanitarian zone in coastal Al-Mawasi – to the west of Khan Younis – to keep the civilian population away from areas of combat with Hamas-led Palestinian militants.

The Gaza Civil Emergency Services said Israel’s new orders showed it had downsized the humanitarian-designated areas in southern and central areas, where 1.7 million people were sheltering, to 48 square km from 65 square km in the past.

The Palestinians, the United Nations and international relief agencies have said there is no safe place left in Gaza.

Health officials at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis urged residents on Monday to donate blood because of the large number of casualties being rushed into the medical centre.

“A family, including children, were all torn to pieces while they were sleeping,” said one man who arrived at the hospital in an ambulance bearing the bodies.

Israel has vowed to eradicate Hamas after militants killed 1,200 people and took more than 250 hostages in a cross-border assault on Oct. 7, 2023, according to Israeli tallies.

© Reuters. A Palestinian woman sits on a wheelchair as she and others flee the eastern part of Khan Younis after they were ordered by Israeli army to evacuate their neighborhoods, amid Israel-Hamas conflict, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip July 22, 2024. REUTERS/Hatem Khaled

The death toll among Palestinians in Israel’s retaliatory offensive since then had reached at least 39,006 as of Monday, Gaza health authorities said.

A ceasefire effort led by Qatar and Egypt and backed by the U.S. has so far fallen short because of disagreements over terms between the combatants, who blame each other for the impasse.

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