Israel-Hamas war: Thousands of Palestinians arrive in Rafah


RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — Thousands of Palestinians fled the already overcrowded city on Gaza's southernmost tip in recent days, according to the United Nations. Israeli bombing in the center of the strip, where hospital officials said dozens of people died Friday.

Israel's unprecedented air and ground offensive against Hamas has displaced about 85% of the Gaza Strip's 2.3 million residents, with large numbers seeking refuge in Israel-designated safe zones, where the military also bombed Is. This has created a frightening feeling among Palestinians that no place is safe small area,

People reached Rafah in trucks, vehicles and on foot. People who could not find space in the already overcrowded shelters have set up tents on the roadside.

"People are using any empty space to build huts," said Juliet Touma, director of communications at UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees. "Some are sleeping in their cars, and others are sleeping out in the open."

Israel's massive campaign, which has already taken place much of the north leveledAttention has now focused on the urban refugee camps of Burij, Nussirat and Maghaji in central Gaza, where Israeli warplanes and artillery have leveled buildings.

but we have to fight not reduced in answer, and the city of Khan Yunis in the south, where Israel believes Hamas leaders are hiding, is also a smoldering battlefield. Militants continued to fire rockets, mostly into Israel's south.

the war has already killed More than 21,300 PalestiniansMost of them are women and children, and a humanitarian crisis has arisen. a quarter of Gaza's population Fastless. The Health Ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza did not differentiate between civilians and fighters in the death toll.

Israeli officials have rejected international calls for a ceasefire, saying it would be a victory for Hamas, which the army has promised to eliminate. It also vowed to bring back more than 100 hostages still held by terrorists Their attack on southern Israel on October 7 Due to which war broke out. About 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were killed in the attack.

The army says 168 of its soldiers have been killed ground offensive began.

a group of displaced people

The United Nations said late Thursday that about 100,000 people had arrived in Rafah, near the border with Egypt, in recent days. The influx crammed even more people into one of Gaza's most densely populated areas.

Israel has told residents of central Gaza to move south, but Rafah has not been spared despite the influx of displaced people.

An attack on Thursday evening destroyed a residential building, killing at least 23 people, according to the media office of nearby Al-Kuwaiti Hospital.

At the hospital, residents arrived carrying a child whose face was caked in dust and who began crying when doctors tore off his Mickey Mouse onesie to examine his injuries.

Shorouk Abu Oun fled fighting in northern Gaza a month ago and took refuge in her sister's house, which is located near Thursday's strike

Speaking at that hospital, Abu Aoun said, "We were displaced from the north and came here because they (the Israeli army) said it was safe." “I wish we had been martyred there (in northern Gaza) and not come here.”

attacks in central Gaza

Several houses were damaged overnight in Nussirat and Maghaji on Friday, and heavy fighting broke out in Bureij, residents said. Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah said it had received the bodies of 40 people, including 28 women, who were killed in the attacks.

“They are killing everywhere,” said Saeed Mustafa, a Palestinian man from Nusrat. “Families are killed inside their homes and on the streets. They are killed everywhere.”

Israel said this week is expanding its ground offensive in central GazaTargeting a belt of overcrowded neighborhoods built to house some of the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war around the time of Israel's creation.

Israel has blamed the high death toll on Hamas, which it accuses of infiltrating the civilian population, saying its forces have uncovered weapons caches and underground tunnel Shafts in residential buildings, schools and mosques.

But even Israel's closest ally, the United States, has urged it to take more precautions to protect civilians and allow more aid. Israel says it warns civilians to leave areas it is targeting in a variety of ways and has worked to be more precise in its evacuation orders.

Israel reviews attack on refugee camp

Civilians are suffering heavy losses in the fighting. On Sunday, a Israeli attack on Maghaji camp According to hospital records, at least 106 people died, making it one of the deadliest cases of the war.

In an initial review of the attack, the Israeli military said that buildings near the target were also hit, and that it was "likely to cause additional unarmed civilian casualties." The army said in a statement on Thursday that it regretted the loss caused to civilians and would learn from the incident.

Government spokesman Ilon Levy told Britain's Sky News that the wrong weapon was used in the attack, making "a regrettable mistake".

“This should not have happened,” he said.

Israel rarely comments on specific attacks and rarely admits fault even when civilians are killed.

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Magee reported from Cairo. Associated Press writer Tia Goldenberg contributed to this report from Tel Aviv, Israel.

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Find more about AP's coverage here https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war,



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