Israeli Strike Kills Health Official, Gazans Say, as Gallant Visits U.S.

An Israeli strike killed a top official in charge of ambulance services in the Gaza Strip, local health officials said on Monday, as the Israeli defense minister met with top American officials in Washington about a possible new phase in the Israeli offensive.

The official, Hani al-Jafarawi, who was the director of ambulance and emergency services in Gaza, was killed in a strike on a health clinic in Gaza City, the Gazan Health Ministry said.

The Israeli military did not respond to a request for comment. It said earlier on Monday that it had killed another man, Muhammad Salah, whom it called a Hamas operative, in Gaza City on Sunday night. It was not clear if the two men were killed in the same strike.

Hundreds of health care workers in Gaza have been killed by Israel’s pulverizing bombing campaign or have been caught in the middle of ground combat between the Israeli military and Hamas, according to the Health Ministry.

The meetings in the Washington area by Israel’s defense minister, Yoav Gallant, with the C.I.A. director, William J. Burns, and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken on Monday coincided with a potential shift in the military campaign signaled by Israeli officials in recent days.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the intensive phase of Israel’s war against Hamas was “about to end,” although he made clear that Israel would not stop fighting in Gaza until Hamas was “eliminated.”

The chief of staff of Israel’s military, Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, also said on Sunday that Hamas’s fighters in Rafah, the southern Gazan city that Israel invaded in May, after the Hamas-led attacks on Oct. 7, were close to being crushed.

“We are clearly approaching the point where we can say we have dismantled the Rafah brigade,” General Halevi said, adding that the brigade was “defeated not in the sense that there are no more terrorists, but in the sense that it can no longer function as a fighting unit.”

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