Subscription Subscription
Home > News > World News > Article > Palestinian medics say Israeli airstrikes kill 35 in Gazas Rafah as displaced people are hit

Palestinian medics say Israeli airstrikes kill 35 in Gaza's Rafah as displaced people are hit

Updated on: 27 May,2024 01:16 PM IST  |  Deir Al-Balah (Gaza Strip)
mid-day online correspondent |

Defence Minister Yoav Gallant was in Rafah on Sunday and was briefed on the "deepening of operations" there, his office said

Palestinian medics say Israeli airstrikes kill 35 in Gaza's Rafah as displaced people are hit

Relatives and supporters of Israelis taken hostage by Palestinian militants in Gaza in the October 7 attacks shield themselves from a police water cannon during a demonstration calling for their release in the central city of Tel Aviv on May 26, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip between Israel and the Palestinian militant Hamas group. Pic/AFP

Palestinian health officials reported that at least 35 people had died as a result of Israeli bombings that damaged makeshift shelters in the southern Gaza city of Rafah and trapped "numerous" more individuals under blazing rubble. According to Gaza's Health Ministry, the majority of the wounded and deceased were women and children. Sunday's attacks occurred two days after Israel was ordered by the International Court of Justice to cease its military offensive in Rafah, the area where over half of Gaza's inhabitants sought refuge before Israel's incursion earlier this month. Many have gone, leaving tens of thousands of people in the region. Heavy damage was shown in a video captured from the location of the biggest airstrike. Israel's army confirmed the strike and said it hit a Hamas installation and killed two senior Hamas militants. It said it was investigating reports that civilians were harmed. Defence Minister Yoav Gallant was in Rafah on Sunday and was briefed on the "deepening of operations" there, his office said.

According to a representative of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, while search and rescue operations persist in Rafah's Tal al-Sultan neighbourhood, situated around two kilometres northwest of the city centre, the number of fatalities is expected to increase. The group claimed that Israel has declared the region to be a "humanitarian area". The suburb is not among the locations that were ordered to be evacuated earlier this month by the Israeli military. After almost seven months of Israel's huge air, sea, and military offensive, Hamas demonstrated resilience by firing a volley of missiles from Gaza, setting off air raid sirens as far away as Tel Aviv for the first time in months. Hours later, the airstrike was confirmed. There were no reports of casualties in what appeared to be the first long-range rocket attack from Gaza since January. Hamas' military wing claimed responsibility. Israel's military said eight projectiles crossed into Israel after being launched from Rafah and "a number" were intercepted, and the launcher was destroyed.

After Israeli forces captured the Palestinian side of the Rafah border earlier this month, dozens of relief vehicles entered Gaza from southern Israel early on Sunday as part of a new arrangement to avoid using that crossing. According to the Israeli military, 126 relief trucks crossed the neighbouring Kerem Shalom border. Yet, due to the conflict, it was not immediately apparent if humanitarian organisations could get the help, "including medical supplies." The Israeli offensive in Rafah has made the crossing mainly unavailable. According to UN agencies, retrieving aid is typically too risky. A further Israeli incursion in Rafah would have "disastrous" effects, according to the World Health Organization's statement last week. "With the humanitarian operation near collapse, the secretary-general emphasizes that the Israeli authorities must facilitate the safe pickup and delivery of humanitarian supplies from Egypt entering Kerem Shalom," the spokesperson for UN chief Antonio Guterres said in a statement. Egypt refuses to reopen its side of the Rafah crossing until control of the Gaza side is handed back to Palestinians. It agreed to temporarily divert traffic through Kerem Shalom, Gaza's main cargo terminal, after a call between US President Joe Biden and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi.

Nearly 36,000 Palestinians have died in the conflict between Israel and Hamas, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, which does not differentiate between combatants and civilians when calculating the death toll. Because Hamas operates in populated, crowded regions, Israel holds the terrorist group accountable for civilian deaths. Approximately 80% of Gaza's 2.3 million residents have left their homes, there is widespread extreme hunger, and according to U.N. authorities, famine is occurring in several areas of the enclave. With its attack on Israel on October 7, in which Palestinian militants killed over 1,200 people, primarily civilians, and took about 250 captives, Hamas started the conflict. After the majority of the hostages were freed during a cease-fire last year, Hamas still holds over 100 hostages and the bodies of about thirty more. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel must take over Rafah to eliminate Hamas' remaining battalions and achieve "total victory" over the militants, who recently regrouped in other parts of Gaza. The war has also heightened tensions in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Palestinian authorities on Sunday said Israeli forces shot dead a 14-year-old boy near the southern West Bank town of Saeer.

The Israeli army said the Palestinian male was shot dead after trying to stab Israeli forces at Beit Einun Junction. Southern Gaza has been largely cut off from aid since Israel launched what it called a limited incursion into Rafah on May 6. Since then over 1 million Palestinians, many already displaced, have fled the city. Northern Gaza receives aid through two land routes that Israel opened during global outrage after Israeli strikes killed seven aid workers in April. A few dozen trucks enter Gaza daily through a US-built floating pier, far below the 150 trucks a day that officials hoped for. Aid groups say 600 trucks a day are needed. Israel's military said it had detained a suspect over a widely circulated video in which a man dressed as a soldier threatens mutiny. Israeli military spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said the man has been removed from reserve duty. The prime minister's office released a brief statement condemning all forms of military insubordination.

(With Inputs from AP and PTI)

"Exciting news! Mid-day is now on WhatsApp Channels Subscribe today by clicking the link and stay updated with the latest news!" Click here!

Register for FREE
to continue reading !

This is not a paywall.
However, your registration helps us understand your preferences better and enables us to provide insightful and credible journalism for all our readers.

Mid-Day Web Stories

Mid-Day Web Stories

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK