44 killed in Israeli strikes in Rafah : The Tribune India

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44 killed in Israeli strikes in Rafah

44 killed in Israeli strikes in Rafah

Lebanese army personnel near a damaged vehicle in the aftermath of an Israeli strike in Jadra. REUTERS



Rafah (Gaza Strip), February 10

Israeli airstrikes killed at least 44 Palestinians in Rafah early Saturday, hours after Israel’s PM said he asked the military to plan for the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people from the southern Gaza city ahead of a ground invasion.

Leader close to Hamas survives attack

  • An Israeli strike inside Lebanon’s southern border targeted a Palestinian figure close to Hamas but he survived, sources said.
  • Three others died, including a member of the Iran-backed Hezbollah, a Hamas ally, four security sources mentioned.
  • The person targeted was close to Saleh al-Arouri where the Hamas deputy chief was killed in an Israeli strike last month.

Benjamin Netanyahu did not provide details or a timeline, but the announcement set off widespread panic. More than half of Gaza’s 2.3 million people are packed into Rafah, many after being uprooted repeatedly by Israeli evacuation orders that now cover two-thirds of Gaza’s territory. It’s not clear where they could run next.

Word of the invasion plans capped a week of increasingly public friction between Netanyahu and the Biden administration. US officials have said an invasion of Rafah without a plan for the civilian population would lead to disaster.

Israel has carried out airstrikes in Rafah almost daily, even after telling civilians in recent weeks to seek shelter there from ground combat in the city of Khan Younis, just to the north.

Overnight into Saturday, three airstrikes on homes in the Rafah area killed several people, according to a health official and Associated Press journalists who saw the bodies arriving at hospitals. Each strike killed multiple members of three families, including a total of 10 children, the youngest 3 months old. The steadily climbing Palestinian death toll — now over 28,000 after four months of war, according to Gaza health officials — has contributed to the friction between Netanyahu and Washington.

In Lebanon, an Israeli strike about 60 km inside the country’s southern border targeted a Palestinian figure close to Hamas but he survived, four security sources said. Three other people were killed, including one member of the Iran-backed Lebanese armed group Hezbollah, a Hamas ally, the sources said.

One source said the person targeted was close to Saleh al-Arouri where the Hamas deputy chief was killed in a suspected Israeli strike last month. There was no immediate comment from Hamas in Lebanon or from the Israeli military.

Hezbollah and Israel have been exchanging near-daily fire since October 7 when Hamas launched an attack on Israeli territory in which 1,200 people were killed and more than 200 taken hostage into the Gaza Strip. — Agencies

#Gaza #Gaza strip #Israel #Palestine


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