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Israeli Airstrikes in Rafah Kill at Least 10 Palestinians, Together with Youngsters

Israeli airstrikes on the southern Gaza metropolis of Rafah on Saturday killed a number of civilians, together with girls and youngsters, in keeping with Palestinian state media, sending extra concern by way of an space the place over a million displaced Palestinians are crowded into tents and short-term quarters.

For a lot of weeks, Palestinians have been bracing for an introduced Israeli floor offensive on Rafah, the southernmost a part of Gaza, the place greater than half of the strip’s 2.2 million residents fled after being compelled from their properties by greater than six months of Israeli bombardment and a floor invasion.

The airstrikes hit two household properties, killing 10 residents, and missiles and artillery additionally struck different areas of Rafah and the encompassing space, in keeping with the Wafa information company.

The Israeli navy wouldn’t instantly touch upon the strikes. It has stated the aim of its offensive in Gaza is to eradicate Hamas, the armed group that has managed the Gaza Strip for almost twenty years.

“It was like an earthquake,” Mohammad al-Masri, a 31-year-old accountant who’s sheltering together with his household in a tent in a big Rafah encampment, stated of the shaking from the strikes.

The primary strike hit at slightly previous midnight, shaking the earth and lighting up the night time sky, and a second one got here quickly after, he stated. “Once we hear these strikes, we don’t know what to do,” he stated. “Everyone seems to be saying the identical factor, ‘The place can we go?’”

President Biden and different world leaders have urged Israel to not invade Rafah as a result of it might make an already dire humanitarian disaster even worse.

However Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not heeded these calls and claims a floor offensive is critical to “full the elimination of Hamas’s battalions” and to destroy its tunnel networks.

Saturday’s strikes stoked fears for Palestinians in Rafah that an invasion may very well be imminent.

In a briefing to the Safety Council this week, Secretary Common António Guterres stated that Israel’s navy offensive in Rafah would “compound this humanitarian disaster.”

Rahaf Al-Madhoun, 17, was streaming reside on TikTok to speak in regards to the dwelling situations in Rafah when the primary airstrike hit very shut, she stated. She stopped to gather herself earlier than persevering with. Then she described the fear sown by the strikes and the ever-present buzz of surveillance drones overhead.

“We’re at a loss, I swear,” she stated. “The concern itself is killing us.”

Rawan Sheikh Ahmad contributed reporting.

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