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21 February 2024

HomeLatest NewsIsrael strikes Gaza’s Rafah as US warns of potential ‘disaster’

Israel strikes Gaza’s Rafah as US warns of potential ‘disaster’

Israeli strikes Gaza's Rafah as US warns of potential 'disaster'

Israel strikes Gaza’s Rafah as US warns of potential ‘disaster’

Gaza: (Web Desk) Israel conducted fresh strikes on southern Gaza’s overcrowded border town of Rafah on Friday, where more than a million displaced Palestinians have sought shelter, with key backer the US warning of a looming “disaster” , The New Arab reported.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he has ordered troops to “prepare to operate” in Rafah, the last major town in the Gaza Strip that Israeli ground troops have yet to enter.

A State Department spokesman said that Washington did not support an Israeli operation in Rafah, with President Joe Biden later telling reporters he considered Israel’s conduct of its war against Hamas to be “over the top”.

The Israeli military stepped up its air strikes on Rafah, with witnesses reporting more overnight bombing.

The territory’s health ministry said early Friday that more than 100 people were killed during the night, including at least eight in Rafah.

The Palestinian Red Crescent meanwhile said three children had died in a strike on Rafah.

The area near a military airport west of Damascus came under attack on Friday, a war monitor reported, while the defence ministry said drones entered Syrian airspace from the direction of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said “the area of the Mazzeh military airport west of the capital Damascus was targeted”, without saying who was behind what it described as a “missile” attack.

The Observatory did not immediately report any casualties.

Israel has informed negotiators seeking to reach a ceasefire deal in Gaza that it refused Hamas’ demands regarding Al-Aqsa Mosque and Palestinian prisoners, Alaraby TV cited the Israeli news site Walla as saying.

The office of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Friday that a plan announced by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a military escalation in Rafah at the southern edge of the Gaza Strip aims to drive Palestinians from their land.

The office of Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority that exerts partial self-rule in the Israeli occupied West Bank, said it holds both the Israeli government and the U.S. administration responsible for the plan’s repercussions.

The Palestinian presidency called on the UN Security Council to take heed, “because (Israel) taking this step threatens security and peace in the region and the world. It crosses all red lines,” the statement said.

Israel has imposed financial restrictions on the main U.N. agency providing aid in the Gaza Strip, a measure which prevented a shipment of food for 1.1 million Palestinians from reaching the enclave , the agency’s director said Friday.

UNRWA’s director, Philippe Lazzarini, said Friday that that a convoy of food donated by Turkey has been sitting for weeks in the Israeli port city of Ashdod. The agency said that the Israeli contractor they work with received a call from Israeli customs authorities “ordering them not to process any UNRWA goods.”

That stoppage means 1,049 shipping containers of rice, flour, chickpeas, sugar and cooking oil — enough to feed 1.1 million people for one month — are stuck, even as an estimated 25% of families in Gaza face catastrophic hunger.

 

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