IDF continues offensive on Rafah despite criticism

IDF continues offensive on Rafah despite criticism
IDF continues offensive on Rafah despite criticism

Despite international outrage over Sunday’s deadly bombing of a displaced persons camp in Rafah, the Israeli army is continuing its offensive in the overpopulated town in the south of the Gaza Strip, launched on May 7 to, according to it, eliminate the last battalions of Hamas.

Street fighting and shelling rocked Rafah on Wednesday, the day after Israeli tanks entered the center of the city. In Khan Younes, three bodies were taken out on Wednesday from the rubble of a house hit by a bombing, according to the Palestinian Civil Defense. “I lost two of my children, Haydar, eight years old, and Mecca, five years old, my only daughter,” testified Rami Abou Jazar in tears, after saying goodbye to his children wrapped in white shrouds.

A war that could continue for “another seven months”

Israeli national security adviser Tzachi Hanegbi affirmed that the war could continue for “another seven months” in order to achieve the objective of destroying Hamas, in power in Gaza since 2007 and author of an attack on October 7 unprecedented against Israel.

In parallel with Gaza, the Israeli army deployed soldiers on Thursday in different towns in the occupied West Bank after a “vehicle attack” which killed, according to it, two young Israeli soldiers near Nablus.

Strike on ambulance in Rafah

During the night from Wednesday to Thursday, the Palestinian Red Crescent denounced the death of two of its rescuers in a “direct strike” by the Israeli army against one of its ambulances in the western sector of Rafah.

In Gaza, the army claimed to have discovered “around twenty tunnels” in the border sector, which it suspects of being used for smuggling for armed groups in the Palestinian territory. Egypt has denied the existence of tunnels under the border, saying that Israel was seeking to justify its offensive in Rafah against the Palestinian Islamist movement.

A vital border post for humanitarian aid closed

The army announced that it had taken control “in recent days” of the Philadelphia Corridor, a 14-kilometer-long buffer zone that borders the Egyptian border along the south of the Gaza Strip, near Rafah. “The Philadelphia corridor served as an oxygen pipe for Hamas, through which it regularly transported weapons to the Gaza Strip,” said Israeli army spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari.

He added that the army had “discovered a sophisticated underground terrorist infrastructure east of Rafah with a length of one and a half kilometers about 100 meters from the crossing” between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. This border post, the only crossing point between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, vital for the delivery of humanitarian aid, has been closed since the Israeli army took control of it at the beginning of May.

In three weeks, around a million Palestinians, according to the UN, have fled Rafah, most of them displaced persons pushed into a new exodus towards already overpopulated areas of the besieged territory.

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