Israel bombs targets in Rafah

Hamas speaks of 52 dead
Israel bombs targets in Rafah

Although the military strategy for an operation near the Egyptian border is not yet finalized, Israel’s army is attacking targets in Rafah. Hamas counts dozens of dead. The Netanyahu government is under international pressure because of the refugees.

The Israeli army says it has attacked targets in the Rafah area in the southern Gaza Strip. The military announced that night that “a series of attacks had been carried out on terrorist targets in the Shabura area in the southern Gaza Strip.” Shabura is near the city of Rafah, where hundreds of thousands of Palestinian internally displaced people have sought protection. The series of attacks had ended, the Israeli military said in a brief message on Telegram. No details were given.

As the Palestinian news agency Wafa reported, citing medical staff in Rafah, at least 52 civilians and other people were killed in the heavy Israeli air strikes. Dozens of other people were also injured, it said. The Arabic television station Al-Jazeera reported at least 63 deaths. During the series of attacks, several houses and mosques are said to have been targeted by the Israeli military. Al Jazeera quoted the director of the Kuwaiti hospital in Rafah as saying that more than 20 people had been taken to the clinic.

No ground troops in Rafah yet

Israel is planning a military offensive on Rafah, which is causing significant international criticism. According to eyewitnesses, the Israeli military had previously attacked targets in the city from the air several times. Israeli ground troops have not yet been deployed there.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the country’s army on Friday to prepare an offensive on Rafah. “It is impossible to achieve the war goal of eliminating Hamas if four Hamas battalions remain in Rafah,” he said. The army should therefore prepare the evacuation of civilians in Rafah.

However, the planning for the operation in Rafah has not yet been completed, the New York Times quoted Israeli officials and analysts as saying. The strategy for an offensive is “very complex.” It will “probably take some time” and has not yet been presented to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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