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Palestinians welcome EU nations' statehood vow as Israel hammers Gaza, killing a mother and her unborn child

3 countries to recognize state of Palestine
3 European countries will recognize Palestine as a state 02:49

The leaders of three European countries — Norway, Spain and Ireland — announced Wednesday that they would formally recognize a Palestinian state on May 28. The move is intended to pressure Israel to accept a political process to end its war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Israel reacted angrily to the decision, calling it "a distorted step" and recalling its ambassadors to the three countries. The Jewish state's Foreign Minister, Israel Katz, said he'd summoned the three countries' ambassadors in Israel and that they would be shown a harrowing video of the abduction of five female hostages by Hamas during its Oct. 7 terrorist attack, which sparked the ongoing war.

The video, released by the Hostages Families Forum with permission of the abductees' families, was recorded by Hamas fighters wearing body cameras as they abducted the women, who are still believed to be held captive in Gaza.

The Palestinian Authority, which administers the Israeli-occupied West Bank, and Hamas, which ruled over Gaza for almost two decades prior to Oct. 7, both welcomed the announcement by the European nations, which came amid intensified fighting in Gaza. 

Israeli attacks on Gaza continue
The bodies of Palestinians, killed in Israeli attacks on Jabalia and Beit Lahia in northern Gaza, are brought to the morgue of the al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza City, May 22, 2024. Dawoud Abo Alkas/Anadolu/Getty

Israeli tanks advanced to the edge of a crowded district in the heart of the southern city of Rafah on Wednesday. Israel's offensive in Rafah, which the U.S. and others had long warned against, has driven almost 1 million people who'd sought refuge there out of the city — many of them already displaced multiple times during the seven-month war.

But Israel's fight with Hamas isn't limited to southern Gaza. It has also intensified again this week in parts of the Palestinian enclave battered by Israeli artillery and ground forces early on in the war.

At the Kamal Adwan hospital in the northern Jabalia refugee camp, CBS News producer Marwan al-Ghoul said 150 patients and medics had to run for their lives as the Israel Defense Forces carried out repeated strikes Tuesday night. 

The IDF said in a statement Wednesday that soldiers had "dismantled a multitude of terrorist infrastructure and conducted aerial and artillery strikes on terror targets in the area" of Jabalia. Palestinian media said at least six people were killed, and images from the region showed shrouded bodies in a morgue, including several that appeared to be children.

Kamal Adwan hospital's health team evacuate Palestinian patients after Israeli airstrikes
A worker from the Kamal al-Adwan hospital evacuates a Palestinian patient after Israeli airstrikes damaged the hospital in the Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, May 21, 2024. Karam Hassan/Anadolu/Getty

An Israeli strike in the central Gaza town of Deir al Balah killed at least 12 people, including small children, al-Ghoul reported. CBS News' team visited the town's Al Aqsa hospital soon after the strike and saw an infant being removed from the womb of his mother, who was killed in the strike. Doctors were unable to save the tiny baby.

The U.N. aid agency for Palestinians, UNRWA, estimated that as of Monday, more than 810,000 people had fled Rafah in two weeks. The agency has suspended food distribution in Rafah, citing a lack of supplies and insecurity in the area. Most of those who've fled Rafah have moved, on the IDF's orders, to a crowded coastal area northwest of the city, al-Mawasi, which Israel says it has established as a humanitarian zone.

"For thousands of Palestinian families there is nowhere left to go: military operations & bombardments pose a continuous threat, buildings have been turned to rubble," UNRWA said in a social media post on Wednesday, adding: "Nowhere is safe in Gaza."

A U.S. official has said that Israeli leaders have addressed many of President Biden's concerns about launching a full-scale ground operation in Rafah, and that the White House had yet to signal its support for such an assault on the city.

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