Palestinians mourn people killed in Israeli bombardment of Rafah

Aid groups warn any invasion would add to already-catastrophic conditions for Gaza's 2.4 million people


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Photo: AFP File
Photo: AFP File

Published: Thu 25 Apr 2024, 8:12 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Apr 2024, 8:14 PM

Palestinians, on Thursday, mourned people killed in Israeli bombardment of Rafah, the crowded southern Gaza city where Israel says it is advancing plans for a ground invasion.

Global concern has mounted over the looming operation against Hamas in Rafah, where much of Gaza's population has sought refuge from more than six months of war in the narrow coastal strip.

Aid groups warn any invasion would add to already-catastrophic conditions for Gaza's 2.4 million people.

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Israeli officials have for more than two months vowed to enter Rafah, near the Egyptian border. Even before any ground operation, the area has been regularly bombed including overnight Wednesday to Thursday.

At the city's Al-Najjar Hospital on Thursday, among the mourners were two men crouching, grief-stricken, in front of a white body bag.

Those killed in an Israeli strike on Rafah included Abdallah Nabhan, 33, who worked for Belgium's Enabel development agency.

Brussels said it would summon Israel's ambassador to explain the death.

Israeli government spokesman David Mencer said Israel's war cabinet was meeting Thursday "to discuss how to destroy the last battalions of Hamas."

He has said the four battalions that remain in Rafah "will be attacked."

The war began with an unprecedented Hamas attack on October 7 that resulted in the deaths of about 1,170 people in Israel, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.

Israel's retaliatory offensive has killed at least 34,305 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to Gaza's health ministry.

Thursday's toll included at least 43 more deaths over the previous day.

As protests in solidarity with Palestinians spread on US campuses, President Joe Biden signed a law authorising $13 billion in additional military aid for close ally Israel.

The legislation also included $1 billion in humanitarian aid for Gaza, plus billions more for other hard-hit areas of the world.


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