Israel keeps pressure on last two refugee cities, kills 18 more Gazans - GulfToday

Israel keeps pressure on last two refugee cities, kills 18 more Gazans


A boy carries empty jerricans in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Saturday. AFP

Israeli airstrikes killed 18 Palestinians in the Gaza cities of Rafah and Deir Al-Balah, Gaza health officials said on Saturday, as residents of the enclave feared Israel would expand its ground offensive into those last remaining areas where people have sought shelter.

Health officials in Gaza said an Israeli airstrike on a house in Rafah killed 14 people including women and children, Gaza health officials said.


Tens of thousands of people have arrived in Rafah in recent days carrying belongings in their arms and pulling children on carts, since Israeli forces last week launched one of their biggest assaults of the war to capture nearby Khan Younis, the main southern city.

"The place turned black, I couldn't see what's in front of me. It was all dust and dirt. I was touching my surroundings, I was looking for my mobile to use the flashlight to look for my children, where are they? I found them under the rubble," said Ahmed Bassam Al-Jamal, whose son was killed in Rafah.

"I cried for help and people came. I got out Yamen, the first one, he was the only one I can see, the rest were still under the rubble. They pulled out Yamen, Eileen and Sila and they pulled out their mother (all alive). We could not find Bassam, we were looking for him, but he was buried, we could not save them, I swear we couldn't," Jamal said, as he bade farewell to his dead son at the hospital.

In Khan Younis, residents said the army blew up a residential district near the city centre.

In the nearby city of Deir Al Balah, the second major concentration of displaced people, medics said four people were killed in an airstrike on a house earlier on Saturday.

Although Israel is focusing its push in the south, residents said fighting continued in Gaza City. Gaza health officials said two people were killed by sniper fire. Israeli forces carried out arrests in the southern suburb of Tel Al Hawa.


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