Publish date18 Jun 2024 - 18:22
Story Code : 639597

Israel occupation forces deepen Rafah invasion, kill 17 in central refugee camps

Israeli air strikes killed at least 17 Palestinians in two of the Gaza Strip’s UN-run refugee camps on Tuesday, Reuters has reported. The occupation state’s tanks also pushed deeper into the enclave’s southern city of Rafah, residents and medics have confirmed.
Israel occupation forces deepen Rafah invasion, kill 17 in central refugee camps
“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 neighbourhoods and outskirts as well as the border with Egypt and the vital Rafah border crossing.
“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 pointed out.
Palestinian health officials said one man was killed in the morning by Israeli fire on the eastern side of Rafah. Medics said that 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 seizing weapons. The air force struck dozens of targets across the Gaza Strip in the past day, it added.
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 were ethnically cleansed and sought refuge in Gaza in the 1948 Nakba, when Israel was created in their land, said medics.
“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. “Enough of our blood, I say it to Israel, America and our leaders too. The war must stop,” he told Reuters.
The Israeli military statement did not comment directly on the 17 deaths but said forces continued to operate against militant [sic] factions in central Gaza areas. The commander of an Islamic Jihad sniper cell was killed by an Israeli warplane, and troops also “eliminated” a militant [sic] cell.
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.
The latest Israeli war started on 7 October when Hamas, the de facto government in Gaza, crossed the border in an incursion during which 1,200 Israelis were killed, many by Israel Defence Forces tanks and helicopters, according to local media. The resistance movement took around 250 people back to Gaza as hostages.
Israel’s subsequent offensive has not only killed at least 38,000 Palestinians — mainly children and women — but also wounded 80,000 others and created a humanitarian crisis with shortages of food, fuel and medicine as well as water in a territory whose housing and civilian infrastructure is now little more than rubble.
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. Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu refuses to end the war before Hamas is eradicated and the hostages are freed.
Israel continues to hold thousands of Palestinians in its jails and what have been described as “Guantanamo-like” camps, most of them with neither charge nor trial. They are also hostages in all but name.
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