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Displaced Palestinians shelter in a tent camp, in Rafah
Displaced Palestinians, who fled their houses due to Israeli strikes, shelter at a tent camp, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, June 19, 2024. REUTERS/Hatem Khaled Image: Reuters/Hatem Khaled
world

Israeli tanks push deeper into Rafah, forcing people to flee again

33 Comments
By Nidal al-Mughrabi

Israeli tanks backed by warplanes and drones advanced deeper into the western part of the Gaza Strip city of Rafah on Wednesday, killing eight people, according to residents and Palestinian medics.

Residents said the tanks moved into five neighborhoods after midnight. Heavy shelling and gunfire hit the tents of displaced families in the Al-Mawasi area, further to the west of the coastal enclave, they said.

Some eight months into the war, there has been no sign of let up in the fighting as efforts by international mediators, backed by the United States, have failed to persuade Israel and Hamas to agree to a ceasefire.

Twelve Palestinians were also killed in an Israeli strike that hit a group of citizens and merchants in the south of the Gaza Strip, medical sources told Reuters on Wednesday.

The people were hit as they waited for convoys of aid trucks carrying goods through the Kerem Shalom crossing in Salahuddin Road northeast of Rafah, the sources added.

Israeli forces have laid waste to much of Gaza and seized most of the Palestinian territory but have yet to achieve Israel's stated goal of wiping out Hamas and freeing Israeli hostages.

Medics and Hamas media said eight Palestinians were killed in Al-Mawasi and many families fled north in panic. They did not identify the fatalities, and the Israeli military said it was looking into the report.

Residents said Israeli army forces blew up several homes in western Rafah, which had sheltered over half of Gaza's 2.3 million people before last month, when Israel began its ground offensive and forced most of the population to head northwards.

Some United Nations and Palestinian figures put those who remained at under 100,000 people.

"Another night of horror in Rafah. They opened fire from planes, drones and tanks on the western areas to cover for their invasion," said one Rafah resident, who asked not to be named.

"Bullets and shells landed in the Mawasi area near where people slept, killing and wounding many," he told Reuters via a chat app.

An Israeli commander briefing military correspondents in Rafah on Tuesday named two more locations there - Shaboura and Tel Al-Sultan - where the army planned to take on Hamas fighters.

"The Hamas battalions there are not yet well worn down and we need to dismantle them completely. We estimate it at more or less a month, at this intensity," Colonel Liron Batito, head of the Givati Brigade, told Army Radio.

The Israeli military remained in control of the border between Rafah and Egypt. Footage circulated on social media showed the Rafah crossing, the only window for most of Gaza's population with the outside world, was destroyed, buildings burnt, and Israeli tanks positioned there with the flag of Israel flying over some places.

The Israeli military said aid into Gaza had not been impeded by the damage.

Further north, Israel sent a column of tanks back into the Zeitoun neighborhood in Gaza City, and residents reported heavy fire from tanks and warplanes but also sounds of gun battles with Hamas-led fighters.

In another Gaza City suburb, Sheikh Radwan, an Israeli air strike on a house killed four Palestinians, including a child, medics said. A total of 20 people were killed across Gaza.

The armed wings of Hamas and Islamic Jihad said fighters battled Israeli forces with anti-tank rockets and mortar bombs, and have in some areas detonated pre-planted explosive devices against army units.

Later on Wednesday, Palestinian gunmen fired rockets at the Kerem Shalom crossing in southern Gaza, the Israeli military said.

Israel's ground and air campaign was triggered when Hamas-led militants stormed into southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing around 1,200 people and seizing more than 250 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

The offensive has left Gaza in ruins, killed more than 37,400 people, according to Palestinian health authorities, and left much of the population homeless and destitute.

Since a week-long truce in November, repeated attempts to arrange a ceasefire have failed, with Hamas insisting on an end to the war and full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refuses to end the war before Hamas is eradicated and the hostages are freed.

On Wednesday, the United Nations human rights office said Israeli forces may have repeatedly violated fundamental principles of the laws of war and failed to distinguish between civilians and fighters in their Gaza campaign.

In a report assessing six Israeli attacks that caused a high number of casualties and destruction of civilian infrastructure, the U.N. Human Rights Office said Israeli forces "may have systematically violated the principles of distinction, proportionality, and precautions in attack".

Israel's permanent mission to the United Nations in Geneva called the analysis "factually, legally, and methodologically flawed".

© Thomson Reuters 2024.

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.


33 Comments
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"The Hamas battalions there are not yet well worn down and we need to dismantle them completely. We estimate it at more or less a month, at this intensity,"

Israel must remain committed to its objective of eliminating the terrorists, and it has the legal and moral right to do so, whatever it takes.

-17 ( +3 / -20 )

Who is the real criminal in this world today? By UN expert.

https://www.aljazeera.com/program/newsfeed/2024/6/19/the-israeli-army-is-one-of-the-most-criminal-in-the-world-says-un-expert

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Zibala quotes an IDF person as if these words are somehow objective.

It's a massacre of the innocents in Gaza.....eventually there will be "no innocents in Gaza "....they will all be dead.

Certainly there is no innocence in Gaza....Israel has created hell on earth for these people.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

On Wednesday, the United Nations human rights office said Israeli forces may have repeatedly violated fundamental principles of the laws of war and failed to distinguish between civilians and fighters in their Gaza campaign

When a Genocide is the goal then why differentiate between people?

It is far easier not to bother.

We should also include any foreigners in or near Israel that are delivering aid or reporting on the violence.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

. . .the U.N. Human Rights Office said Israeli forces "may have systematically violated the principles of distinction, proportionality, and precautions in attack".

There is no "may have. . ." The UNHRC inquiry is very unequivocal in it description of Israeli war crimes.

I apologise for the length of the quote but this is what the UNHRC said about its inquiry in a press briefing last night.

"In relation to Israel’s military operations and attacks in Gaza from 7 October, the Commission concluded that Israeli authorities were responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, including extermination, intentionally directing attacks against civilians, murder or wilful killing, using starvation as a method of war, forcible transfer, gender persecution, sexual and gender-based violence amounting to torture, and cruel or inhuman treatment. Israel’s “total siege” of the Gaza Strip had weaponised the provision of life-sustaining necessities for strategic and political gains including through cutting off supplies of water, food, electricity, fuel and other essential supplies, including humanitarian assistance. It constituted collective punishment, disproportionately impacting pregnant women and persons with disabilities, and was causing grave harm to children, including starvation-related deaths. The deliberate use of heavy weapons in densely populated areas constituted an intentional attack on the civilian population.

The Commission found Israeli forces committed sexual and gender-based violence with the intent to humiliate and further subordinate the Palestinian community. The Commission concluded that specific forms of sexual and gender-based violence constituted part of Israeli Security Forces’ operating procedures. The blatant disregard for international law across the entire occupied Palestinian territory had disproportionately impacted Palestinian children. In Gaza, Israeli Security Forces had killed and maimed tens of thousands of children, and thousands more likely remain under the rubble. Israeli attacks had also severely impacted infrastructure essential for children’s wellbeing, including hospitals, schools and basic services."

4 ( +5 / -1 )

So, Biden's 'red line' is nothing but the edge of the ever expanding pool of innocent blood the Israeli regime's militants spill.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Thanks "Capuchin "....I also listened to that.

So "the LEGAL and moral right to do so , whatever it takes ", promoted above as an excuse for Israel's barbarity, seems not to have been a LEGAL defence according to the UN 'highest Court and investigative body.

There is no "whatever it takes " defence when being accused of atrocities.

More isolation for Israel to follow.

Would you move there, or even invest there ?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I thought Israel agreed to a ceasefire....guess the war criminals were just lying as usual..

1 ( +4 / -3 )

In a report assessing six Israeli attacks that caused a high number of casualties and destruction of civilian infrastructure, the U.N. Human Rights Office said Israeli forces "may have systematically violated the principles of distinction, proportionality, and precautions in attack".

May have??

Israel's permanent mission to the United Nations in Geneva called the analysis "factually, legally, and methodologically flawed".

Israel's analysis is factually, legally, and methodologically flawed.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

I love how western news especially Reuters must repeat this every single article as if everyone in the world doesn't already know it!

Israel's ground and air campaign was triggered when Hamas-led militants stormed into southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing around 1,200 people and seizing more than 250 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

Even in the Ruso Ukrainian war they don't repeat "Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022"

I don't think I have ever seen a conflict other than this one were such a repetitive narration has ever been so blatant!

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

So "the LEGAL and moral right to do so , whatever it takes ", promoted above as an excuse for Israel's barbarity, seems not to have been a LEGAL defence according to the UN 'highest Court and investigative body.

Yeah, that's kind of the case when a country is attacked by a terrorist group.

The country gets to defend itself. And oh--people are killed in wars. Property is destroyed.

Nothing new here.

And the UN court has no jurisdiction.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Interesting that Reuters had space to repeat this again

Israel's ground and air campaign was triggered when Hamas-led militants stormed into southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing around 1,200 people and seizing more than 250 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

But had no space for the rest of the report:

Navi Pillay the head of a UN inquiry: Israel has committed crimes against humanity, forced starvation, extermination, murder, and inhuman and cruel treatment of Palestinians.

“We found that Israeli forces committed sexual and gender-based violence with the intent to humiliate and further subordinate the Palestinian community. Palestinian women were targeted and subjected to sexual violence and harassment online and in person.

> “Men and boys experienced specific persecutory acts, including sexual and gender-based violence amounting to torture and inhuman and cruel treatment.”

Reuters, instead of repeating the same thing and pushing your narrative, try reporting the full news and information

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

The armed wings of Hamas and Islamic Jihad said fighters battled Israeli forces with anti-tank rockets and mortar bombs, and have in some areas detonated pre-planted explosive devices against army units.

Exactly the reason why Israel needs to eliminate these terrorists, who use civilians as human shields, kill Palestinian Arab civilians, steal their food, and store arms and munitions in houses and hospitals.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

The country gets to defend itself. And oh--people are killed in wars. Property is destroyed.

Nothing new here. - Zibala

How come you don't harbour the same disdain and disregard for Israeli deaths?

Countries under occupation have a right to resist. And oh-people are killed. Property is destroyed.

Nothing new here.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Countries under occupation have a right to resist.

Israel is a country.

Other than that, and the fact Israel is fighting against a terrorist group, where is the occupied country?

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Remember when Israel knew exactly what Hamas was planning and did absolutely nothing to stop it? Whats that called? When you leave your own people in harms way like that? Not human shields, maybe human sacrifices?

Zib, what would you call it? Terrorist enabling?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Zibala your comments are nonsensical and always come back to bite you.

"And oh...people get killed in wars " you write...

So why do Jews commemorate the Holocaust ?

Or Cambodia the Pol Pot genocide ?

People get killed in wars right ?

Maybe the Jews and Cambodians should get over it ?

Is that your claim ?

Or is it selective when talking about {certain } people.?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

zibala

Today 09:38 am JST

Countries under occupation have a right to resist.

> Israel is a country.

> Other than that, and the fact Israel is fighting against a terrorist group, where is the occupied country?

Basically everything that is today Israel and Palestinian territories.

The British and the World had no right to give land they did not own to outsiders!

And anyone that believes that after 2000 years people can return and just take land because their god gave it to them should be ready to give up any land they have in which they are not the original inhabitants.

So if you live in America, Canada, Australia NZ and think the Jews had a legitimate right to return, then I say put your money/property where your mouth is and had your homes, condos, land etc.. over to the indigenous people of those countries, after all if you truly believe the European and other Jews from around the world had the right to take Palestinian land, then you should feel the same right should be given to the native of the above places!

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Remember when Israel knew exactly what Hamas was planning and did absolutely nothing to stop it?

I don't remember.

Whats that called?

Fiction,

When you leave your own people in harms way like that?

That's what Hamas does--hence the casualties of the Gaza occupiers.

The British and the World had no right to give land they did not own to outsiders!

Here we goooo!

And anyone that believes that after 2000 years people can return and just take land

There are people who have been alive for 2000 years?

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Zibala, dont accept the UN jurisdiction ? OK ?

The Israel Supreme Court has ruled in favour of the "proportionality of response " doctrine as well...

Do you accept an Israeli Courts jurisdiction.? And Oh, the Hamas attack plan was well known to Israeli Intel.

Even Israeli media reporting on this.

Sorry....but your assertions are circular and always come back to bite you.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The Israeli sadistic barbarism of ethnic cleansing in Gaza and the West Bank will deal a fatal blow to the devilish zionist Lebensraum project. The PTSD for Israel will go off the charts. No more bandaids! The one-state solution must be implemented asap before the waves of retaliation and retribution crash down on the heads of the guilty.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Remember when Israel knew exactly what Hamas was planning and did absolutely nothing to stop it?

I don't remember.

Remember this

https://m.jpost.com/israel-hamas-war/article-806634

1 ( +2 / -1 )

So Israel attacks Hezbollah....Hezbollah rains down bombs on Haifa and Tel Aviv.

Israel the uses a tactical nuclear strike, or two, in Lebanon.

This gets the Iranians on board against Israel.

Turkey wont allow Israel to continue to use Cyprus for off shore operations.

Turkey intervenes {again } against Cyprus, and Israel becomes a Turkish enemy.

Russia stands by Turkey, who can achieve nuclear weapons from good ally Pakistan.

Saudi Arabia wont allow US to use their ports or airspace.

All this because Netanyahu wont stop his massacre of Gazan people.

Netanyahu wants to drag the US into a wider conflict.

Othe POTUS would have stepped in by now and said "Enough " to Israel.

These are the thoughts and words of a high profile ex US military figure.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Palestine will never exist so long as Israel exists. That is the way it has been and will continue to be given the way things are going.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Palestine does exist... Israel is the newcomer.

Population of each group about the same.

One group exerting an unconscionable control over another .

My money is on a Palestinian state.

Not confident about Israel's survival, at least in it's current form

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Breaking....Daniel Hagari, IDF top media officer and ranking IDF officer says

Hamas is an idea and it is impossible to destroy it.

This is a chasm between IDF and Netanyahu.

Interesting days ahead

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Like a police officer showing the bruises on their fists and proclaiming that as evidence they were the victim of assault, the Israeli regime points to October 7th as evidence they were assaulted, counting on people not looking at the months of them doing to Palestinians everything they claim was done by Hamas on that day.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

GuruMick, this isn't the only time that some of Israel's militants have taken issue with what Netanyahu wants them to do. The thing is that they've usually drawn a solid red line at starting a war with the largest, most advanced, democratic country in the region (Iran) because they realized the Israeli regime would not last long after that, they have become complacent about the threat to the survival of the regime increasing the brutality and pace of the genocide against Palestinians represents. Rather like Trump's fraudulent business practices, getting away with it so often engendered a belief that they could get away with it forever.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Israel must remain committed to its objective of eliminating the terrorists, and it has the legal and moral right to do so, whatever it takes.

Sure genious..

Killing innocent women and children..

What a brave statement..

Pffffffff...

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The offensive has left Gaza in ruins, killed more than 37,400 people, according to Palestinian health authorities, and left much of the population homeless and destitute.

Hamas is using civilians as human shields and using children as frontline militants. Even though the civilian number is under 10,000 over 8 months, which is an extremely low casualty rate, all deaths are the responsibility of Hamas.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

"Hamas did it " the new claim in Israel when someone is accused of wrong doing.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The number of 8000 civilian deaths is a vast, vast underestimate {and Zibala, where do these figures come from ?}...notwithstanding...a 1000 plus innocents killed per month .

On what planet is that a "proportionate response "?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

On what planet is that a "proportionate response "?

Earth.

Compare with any other war so you can understand the reality.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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