Israeli tanks on the edge of Mawasi displacement camp as dozens killed across Gaza

Sunday 23 Jun 2024

Israeli tanks advanced to the edge of the Mawasi displacement camp in the northwest of Rafah in southern Gaza on Sunday as fierce fighting between the Palestinian resistance and the Israeli army continued, residents told Reuters.

People walk along a road between the rubble of buildings destroyed during Israeli bombardment in Khan Yunis on the southern Gaza Strip on June 23, 2024. AFP


“The fighting with the resistance has been intense. The occupation forces are overlooking the Mawasi area now, which forced families there to head for Khan Younis,” said one resident to Reuters.

Residents said Israeli tanks had pushed deeper into western and northern Rafah in recent days, blowing up dozens of houses.

Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, and the Islamic Jihad movement said their fighters had attacked Israeli forces in Rafah with anti-tank rockets, mortar bombs, and pre-planted explosive devices.

The Israeli military's advance comes days after an Israeli attack on a tent camp in al-Mawasi killed 25 people and wounded more than 50.

Elsewhere, an Israeli airstrike killed eight Palestinians in Sabra, a suburb of Gaza City in the north, and another strike killed two people in Nuseirat in central Gaza.

In its latest update, the Palestinian health ministry said Sunday that at least 37,598 people have been killed in the Israeli bombardment in Gaza since the war started.

The toll includes at least 47 deaths over the past 24 hours, a ministry statement said, adding that 86,032 had been wounded since the war began.

School shelters damaged

The UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), citing the Global Education Cluster, said 69 percent of all schools sheltering displaced families in Gaza have either been “directly hit or damaged” during the war.

Shelters run by UNRWA have also been hit repeatedly, according to the agency, killing more than 500 people sheltering in them.

“This blatant disregard of humanitarian law must stop. We need a ceasefire now,” UNRWA said in a post on X.

Meanwhile, the EU’s foreign affairs chief has called for an independent probe into a shelling that damaged the office of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Gaza.

In a post on X, Josep Borrell said the EU condemned the shelling which also “led to dozens of casualties”.

The ICRC reported on Saturday that heavy-calibre projectiles “landed within meters” of its office and residences, killing at least 25 people.

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