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Israeli strikes in Rafah: Medics say at the very least 16 lifeless, residents report heavy combating

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Displaced Palestinians examine their tents destroyed by Israel’s bombardment, adjunct to an UNRWA facility west of Rafah metropolis, Gaza Strip, on May 28, 2024.
| Photo Credit: AP

Israeli strikes on Rafah have killed at the very least 16 Palestinians, first responders stated May 28, as residents reported an escalation of combating within the southern Gaza metropolis.

An Israeli incursion launched in early May has induced almost 1 million to flee from Rafah, most of whom have already been displaced within the conflict between Israel and Hamas, and who at the moment are searching for refuge in squalid tent camps and war-ravaged areas.

The United States and different shut allies of Israel have warned towards a full-fledged offensive within the metropolis, with the Biden administration saying it might cross a crimson line and refusing to supply offensive arms for such an enterprise. On May 24, the International Court of Justice referred to as on Israel to halt its Rafah offensive, an order it has no energy to implement.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to press forward, saying Israeli forces should go into Rafah so as to dismantle Hamas and return hostages taken within the October 7 assault that triggered the conflict.

The newest strikes occurred in the identical space the place Israel focused what it stated was a Hamas compound on May 26 evening. That strike ignited a hearth in a camp for displaced Palestinians and killed at the very least 45 folks, in response to native well being officers, sparking worldwide outrage.

Mr. Netanyahu stated there was a “tragic mishap” on May 26 and the military said it was investigating.

Strikes overnight killed a total of 16 people in the Tel al-Sultan neighbourhood in northwest Rafah, according to the Palestinian Civil Defence and the Palestinian Red Crescent.

Israel says it is carrying out limited operations in eastern Rafah along the Gaza-Egypt border. But residents reported heavy bombardment overnight in western parts of Rafah as well.

“It was a night of horror,” stated Abdel-Rahman Abu Ismail, a Palestinian from Gaza City who has been sheltering in Tel al-Sultan since December. He stated he heard “constant sounds” of explosions in a single day and into May 28 morning, with fighter jets and drones flying over the world.

He said it reminded him of the Israeli invasion of of his neighbourhood of Shijaiyah in Gaza City, where Israel launched a heavy bombing campaign before sending in ground forces in late 2023. “We saw this before,” he said.

Sayed al-Masri, a Rafah resident, said many families have been forced to flee their homes and shelters, with most heading for the crowded Mawasi area, where giant tent camps have been set up on a barren coastline, or to Khan Younis, a southern city that suffered heavy damage during months of fighting.

“The situation is worsening” in Rafah, al-Masri said.

Gaza’s Health Ministry said two medical facilities in Tel al-Sultan have been taken out of service because of intense bombing nearby. Medical Aid for Palestinians, a charity operating throughout the territory, said the Tel al-Sultan medical centre and the Indonesian Field Hospital were under lockdown, with medics, patients and displaced people trapped inside.

Most of Gaza’s hospitals are not functioning. The Kuwait Hospital in Rafah shut down on May 27 after a strike close to its entrance killed two well being employees.

The conflict started when Hamas and different militants burst into southern Israel in a shock assault on October 7, 2023, killing some 1,200 civilians and abducting round 250. More than 100 have been launched throughout a weeklong cease-fire in November in trade for Palestinians imprisoned by Israel.

Israel responded to the October 7 assault with a large air, land and sea offensive that has killed over 36,000 Palestinians, in response to Gaza’s Health Ministry, which doesn’t distinguish between fighters and civilians in its rely. Around 80% of Gaza’s inhabitants of two.3 million has been displaced and United Nations officers say elements of the territory are experiencing famine.

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