Israel and Hamas at war, day 236 | Street fighting and strikes in Rafah, epicenter of the war

(Rafah) Street fighting, incessant raids and tanks in the center of Rafah: this town in the south of the Gaza Strip from which around a million Palestinians fled has become the epicenter of the battle between the Israeli army and Hamas after almost eight months of war.

At least 75 Palestinians died in 24 hours in Israeli military operations in Gaza, bringing the death toll, mostly civilians, in the besieged territory to 36,171, according to data released Wednesday by the Gaza Health Ministry. Hamas administration.

At the UN, Algeria presented to the Security Council a draft resolution demanding an “immediate” ceasefire and an end to the offensive in Rafah, where Israeli tanks entered for the first time on May 7, according to the army to eliminate the last battalions of the Palestinian Islamist movement.

China said it hoped for a vote this week while the Council, powerless in the face of this devastating conflict, is due to hold its monthly meeting on the Palestinian Territories on Wednesday.

The Algerian draft was distributed during an emergency meeting Tuesday of the Council called after an Israeli bombardment Sunday on a camp for displaced people in Rafah which left 45 dead, according to the Hamas health ministry.

The same day of this meeting, the Gaza Civil Defense announced the death of 21 Palestinians in an Israeli strike on another displaced camp in Rafah.

Despite international condemnations and calls for a ceasefire, the Israeli army continued its offensive in Rafah.

On Wednesday, street fighting broke out between soldiers and Palestinian fighters, bombings targeted several areas and Israeli tanks were seen in the center of the city, according to witnesses. Hamas said it fired rockets at soldiers near the Yebna camp.

“I lost two children”

Still in the south of the overpopulated territory, three bodies were taken out of the rubble of a house hit by a bombing in Khan Younes, according to Civil Defense.

“I lost two of my children, Haydar, 8 years old, and Mecca, 5 years old, my only daughter”, killed in Israeli strikes on Khan Younès, said a tearful Rami Abou Jazar after saying goodbye to his children wrapped in white shrouds.

In the north of the territory, Israeli military vehicles opened fire in Gaza City and strikes targeted areas of Jabaliya, witnesses said.

The spokesperson for the Hamas Ministry of Health, Ashraf al-Qudra, accused the army “of deliberately targeting health services in Rafah and in the north of Gaza”, deeming it “urgent to install hospitals there campaign and send medical teams there.

After an unprecedented attack carried out on October 7 from the Gaza Strip by Hamas commandos against Israeli territory, Israel vowed to annihilate the Islamist movement, in power in Gaza since 2007, which it considers a movement terrorist as well as the United States and the European Union.

His army launched an intense bombing campaign followed by a ground offensive which, in addition to a heavy human toll, destroyed numerous neighborhoods and displaced the majority of Gaza’s approximately 2.4 million inhabitants.

The war has also caused a humanitarian catastrophe in the territory, where the UN fears widespread famine.

The October 7 attack in southern Israel resulted in the deaths of more than 1,189 people, mostly civilians, according to a count carried out by AFP based on the latest official figures available. Of the 252 people taken as hostages during the attack, 121 are still detained in Gaza, of whom 37 have died according to the army.

“Not a big bomb”

Israel’s main political and military supporter, the United States has affirmed that it “does not turn a blind eye” to the victims in Rafah but continues to judge that Israel has not launched a “major” offensive against this city likely to call into question their support.

“The Israelis said they were using (in Rafah) 37-pound (around 17 kilo) bombs,” “37 pounds is not a big bomb,” said the spokesperson for the US National Security Council John Kirby, saying he was waiting for the results of the Israeli investigation into the bombing of the displaced persons camp on Sunday in Rafah.

“People burned,” declared Mohammad Hamad, after this bombing followed by a fire which ravaged the camp, and where many bodies, including those of children, were charred according to Civil Defense.

The army said it had launched an internal investigation.

Since the closure of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, after the entry of Israeli tanks on the Palestinian side, the delivery of humanitarian aid, vital for the population of Gaza, has come to a virtual standstill.

For the first time since May 13, the World Health Organization reported that it had successfully delivered fuel and equipment to Al-Ahli Hospital in northern Gaza.

“What are you waiting for to react? », Launched Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the Muslim world, after denouncing “the Israeli genocide” and affirming that “the spirit of the UN is dead in Gaza”.

source site-63