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Israel army pushes forward in Rafah, central Gaza, fighting Palestinian Resistance

June 18, 2024 at 5:44 pm

Israeli army raids Jenin city and besieged Jenin Refugee Camp, in Jenin, West Bank on June 13, 2024 [Nedal Eshtayah – Anadolu Agency]

The Israeli army, on Tuesday, continued its incursions into Rafah city in the southern Gaza Strip and in the Territory’s central areas amid clashes and fighting with Palestinian Resistance groups, Anadolu Agency reports.

In a military statement, the Israeli army said its Givati Brigade, part of its 162nd Division, engaged in clashes with Palestinian gunmen in Rafah, claiming to have killed several of them, without providing an exact number.

According to an Anadolu reporter in the city, which straddles Gaza’s southern border with Egypt, the Israeli army has been heavily shelling the Tel Al-Sultan neighbourhood in western Rafah since the early morning.

In the central Gaza Strip, Israeli troops in the 99th Division also continued their attacks, while jets and artillery pounded the area.

READ: Israel: another soldier commits suicide after returning from Gaza

The Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas Resistance group, said late on Monday that its fighters targeted two Israeli tanks in Tel Al-Sultan with locally-made Yasin 105 anti-tank shells.

On Monday, the Israeli army claimed it had “operational control” over about 70 per cent of Rafah and aims to complete its military campaign in the area within a few weeks.

Flouting a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire, Israel has faced international condemnation amid its continued brutal offensive on Gaza since the 7 October, 2023 attack by Hamas.

More than 37,300 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, most of them women and children, and more than 85,000 others injured, according to local health authorities.

Over eight months into the Israeli war, vast tracts of Gaza lie in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which in its latest ruling has ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its operation in the southern city of Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on 6 May.

READ: Netanyahu’s son accuses army, Shin Bet of ‘treason’ on 7 October