Israeli strikes kill 35 in Rafah, its army claims Hamas commanders eliminated

At least 35 Palestinians were killed in Gaza's southern city of Rafah on Sunday after Israeli strikes hit the region, which houses hundreds of displaced people. The Israeli Army claimed that the strikes hit a compound housing Hamas terrorists, and took out two of the group's commanders.
Israeli strikes kill 35 in Rafah, its army claims Hamas commanders eliminated
Anjali Raj / Jaano Junction

At least 35 Palestinians were killed, and dozens of others injured in Gaza's southern city of Rafah, after Israeli strikes hit the southern Gaza Strip city on Sunday, according to Palestinian health and civil emergency service officials. Rafah houses hundreds of displaced Palestinians who fled the northern part of Gaza since Israel's counterattack against Hamas's October 7 assault began last year.

In a post on X, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that it struck a compound in Rafah that was housing "significant Hamas terrorists" and was carried out with "precise munitions and on the basis of precise intelligence". It further claimed that the strikes killed Hamas's chief of staff for the West Bank and another senior official of the Palestinian Islamist group.

The strikes happened after Hamas claimed to have launched a barrage of rockets at Israel's Tel Aviv for the first time in months as rocket sirens blared across the central part of the Jewish nation, news agency Reuters reported.

Here are the five latest developments in the Israel-Hamas war:

Following the Israeli strikes in Rafah, Hamas reportedly asked Palestinians to "rise up and march" against the Israeli Army's "massacre".

"In light of the horrific Zionist massacre this evening committed by the criminal occupation army against the tents of the displacedâ€æ we call on the masses of our people in the West Bank, Jerusalem, the occupied territories and abroad to rise up and march angrily against the ongoing Zionist massacre against our people in the sector," the group said, according to Times of Israel.

A spokesperson for the White House National Security Council told the Times of Israel that the US President Joe Biden-led administration is following the situation regarding Israeli strikes on a displaced people's camp in Rafah.

"We’re aware of the reports about the incident in Rafah and are gathering more information," the spokesperson added.

The Israeli Army said that the strikes took out Yassin Rabia, Hamas's chief of staff for the West Bank and Khaled Najjar, a senior member of the Palestinian group. According to the IDF, Rabia was "involved in the transfer of funds for terror purposes and directed attacks by Hamas operatives" in the West Bank. He was also involved in committing multiple deadly attacks himself in 2001 and 2002, killing Israeli soldiers.

Najjar also carried out attacks between 2001 and 2003, according to the IDF, killing civilians and killing and injuring soldiers.

The Israeli strikes in Rafah came two days after the United Nation's top court, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), ordered Israel to "immediately halt its military offensive" in the Gaza city. The ruling came in support of South Africa's application last week that sought several measures against Israel. The court said that it considered the humanitarian situation in Rafah "disastrous", adding that UN officials have indicated it was set to "intensify even further" if the military operation in Rafah continues.

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Israeli strikes kill 35 in Rafah, its army claims Hamas commanders eliminated

Talks between Hamas and Israel for a ceasefire in Gaza have been halted for weeks. However, there were some signs of movement this weekend after meetings between Israeli and US intelligence officers and Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani. An official, aware of the matter, told news agency Reuters that a decision had been taken to resume talks based on fresh proposals from Egyptian and Qatari mediators, with "active US involvement".

Source: India Today

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