Israeli strikes on Rafah raise fear ground assault could begin By Reuters

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By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Ahmed Zakot

(Reuters) – Israel bombed at least four buildings in Rafah on Wednesday, sparking fresh fears among more than a million Palestinians living in the last refuge in the southern Gaza Strip that a long-term threat could be unleashed.

One of the bombers killed 11 people from the same family, health officials said.

Mussa Dhaheer, looking down as neighbors helped an emergency worker to lower the injured person in a black bag from above, said that he woke up with a bang, kissed his scared daughter, and ran outside to find destruction. His father, 75, and mother, 62, were among the dead.

“I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to say. I can’t understand what happened. My parents. My father and his friends who fled from Gaza City,” he told Reuters.

“They were all together, and suddenly they disappeared like dust.

In another bombing, Jamil Abu Houri said the increase in airstrikes is Israel’s way of showing contempt for the UN Security Council’s resolution last week calling for an end to the Israel-Hamas conflict.

After that, he fears a ground attack in Rafah, where Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has threatened to act despite warnings from Washington’s closest ally that it could cause civilian casualties.

“The bombings have increased, and they have threatened to attack us, and they say they have been given the green light for the attack on Rafah. Where is the Security Council?” Abu Hurri said.

A US official said on Wednesday Israel asked to reschedule a meeting in Washington to discuss its plans for Rafah, a few days after Netanyahu abruptly suspended the talks by submitting a resolution to end the war in Gaza with the UN Security Council that the US chose not to accept.

The US no-vote reflects frustration with Netanyahu, who has criticized Washington for the move.

MORE ABOUT AIRSTRIKES

An Israeli airstrike in Rafah on Wednesday afternoon killed four Palestinians, including a mother and child, and injured several others, Gaza health officials said.

In the western part of Gaza City, in the northern part of the region, seven people were killed when an airstrike hit a house, health officials said.

The Israeli military is said to be targeting armed Hamas militants who are using civilian buildings, including apartments and hospitals, as hideouts. Hamas refuses to do so.

Separately, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where bloodshed has intensified in parallel with the Gaza war, three Palestinians were killed and four wounded by Israeli fire in Jenin overnight, the Palestinian health ministry said.

At least 32,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, according to the Ministry of Health there, while thousands more are believed to have been buried in the rubble and more than 80% of the 2.3 million people have fled their homes, many in danger. hunger.

The war broke out after the Islamist militant group Hamas breached the border on Oct. 7 and passed through the neighboring areas, killing 1,200 people and taking 253 hostages according to Israeli claims.

The Israeli army in the north of Rafah kept the two main hospitals in Khan Younis, Al-Amal and Nasser Hospital, under siege at the end of last week. In the north, they were still working inside Al Shifa, the largest hospital in the enclave, which they destroyed more than a week ago.

Israel says the hospitals have become Hamas gun clinics, which Hamas and the doctors deny. The Israeli army says it killed and captured hundreds of people during the fighting in Al Shifa. Hamas says civilians and medics were rounded up.

Gaza’s Ministry of Health said the wounded and sick were being kept inside the Al Shifa Department of Labor, which lacked medical equipment.

Nearby residents reported hearing continuous explosions in and around Al Shifa and heavy smoke from buildings inside the compound.

An international mediator has failed to impose a ban on fighting and prisoner exchanges as the two sides pursue irreconcilable interests. Hamas wants an end to the war and an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, while Israel has vowed to continue fighting until its Islamic enemy is eliminated.

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