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World

Israeli forces deepen Rafah invasion, kill 17 in central camps

Published June 18, 2024 Updated June 19, 2024
Mourners react next to the bodies of Palestinians, killed in Israeli strikes due to a military operation in Rafah, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, during their funeral in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, June 18, 2024. Photo: Reuters
Mourners react next to the bodies of Palestinians, killed in Israeli strikes due to a military operation in Rafah, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, during their funeral in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, June 18, 2024. Photo: Reuters

CAIRO: Israeli airstrikes on Tuesday killed at least 17 Palestinians in two of the Gaza Strip’s historic refugee camps and Israeli tanks pushed deeper into the enclave’s southern city of Rafah, residents and medics said.

Residents reported heavy bombardments from tanks and planes in several areas of Rafah, where more than a million people had taken refuge before May.

Rafah offensive would lead to ‘humanitarian disaster’: UN chief

Most of the population has fled northwards since then as Israeli forces invaded the city.

“Rafah is being bombed without any intervention from the world, the occupation (Israel) is acting freely here,” a Rafah resident and father of six told Reuters via a chat app.

Israeli tanks were operating inside Tel Al-Sultan, Al-Izba, and Zurub areas in Rafah’s west, as well as Shaboura at the heart of the city.

They also continued to occupy the eastern neighborhoods and outskirts as well as the border with Egypt and the vital Rafah border crossing.

 A mourner reacts during the funeral of Palestinians, killed in Israeli strikes due to a military operation in Rafah, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, June 18, 2024. Photo: Reuters
A mourner reacts during the funeral of Palestinians, killed in Israeli strikes due to a military operation in Rafah, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, June 18, 2024. Photo: Reuters

“There are Israeli forces in most areas, there is heavy resistance too and they are making them pay dearly but the occupation is not ethical and they are destroying the city and the refugee camp,” the resident said.

Palestinian health officials said one man was killed in the morning by Israeli fire on the eastern side of Rafah.

Medics said they believed many others had been killed in the past days and weeks but rescue teams could not reach them.

The Israeli military said it was continuing “precise, intelligence-based activity” in Rafah, killing many Palestinian gunmen over the past day in close-range combat and seized weapons.

The air force struck dozens of targets across the Gaza Strip in the past day, it added.

Israel hits Rafah despite US warning on arms transfers

In the central Gaza Strip, two separate Israeli air strikes on two houses killed 17 Palestinians in Al-Nuseirat and Al-Bureij, two designated refugee camps that are home to families and descendants of people who fled to Gaza in the 1948 war around the creation of Israel, medics said.

“Every more hour of delay, Israel kills more people, we want a ceasefire now,” said Khalil, 45, a teacher from Gaza, now displaced with his family in Deir Al-Balah city in the central Gaza Strip.

 A girl looks on during the funeral of Palestinians, killed in Israeli strikes due to a military operation in Rafah, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, June 18, 2024. Photo: Reuters
A girl looks on during the funeral of Palestinians, killed in Israeli strikes due to a military operation in Rafah, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, June 18, 2024. Photo: Reuters

“Enough of our blood, I say it to Israel, America, and our leaders too.

The commander of an Islamic Jihad sniper cell was killed by an Israeli warplane, and troops also “eliminated” a militnt cell, it said. The armed wings of Hamas and Islamic Jihad said fighters confronted Israeli forces in combat zones with anti-tank rockets and mortar bombs, and have in some areas detonated pre-planted explosive devices against army units.

Israel’s ground and air campaign was triggered when Hamas-led stormed into southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing around 1,200 people and seizing more than 250 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

The offensive has left Gaza in ruins, killing more than 37,400 people, according to its health authorities, and left much of the population homeless and destitute.

 A mourner reacts next to the bodies of Palestinians, killed in Israeli strikes due to a military operation in Rafah, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, during their funeral in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, June 18, 2024. Photo: Reuters
A mourner reacts next to the bodies of Palestinians, killed in Israeli strikes due to a military operation in Rafah, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, during their funeral in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, June 18, 2024. Photo: Reuters

Since a week-long truce in November, repeated attempts to arrange a ceasefire have failed, with Hamas insisting on a permanent end to the war and full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza.

Hamas official says delegation to respond to Gaza truce plan in Egypt Monday

Netanyahu refuses to end the war before Hamas is eradicated and the hostages are freed.

Comments

200 characters
KU Jun 18, 2024 09:33pm
Never could have anyone believed the possibility of criminal ignorance of genocide by Western democracies n media. They are deliberately pressing all the emotions for more chaos around the world.
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Maqbool Jun 19, 2024 12:41pm
@Doc Asad, SOE are set up not to work but to provide lucrative jobs for favorites .
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Maqbool Jun 19, 2024 12:43pm
Delete
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