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The Israeli offensive hit the Rafah area after the attack by Hamas

Thomas Mackintosh,BBC news

Reuters Fire breaks out in an area reserved for displaced Palestinians in Gaza, May 26 Reuters

Fire broke out in an area reserved for displaced Palestinians in the Rafah area on Sunday

Gaza’s Hamas-run Health Ministry said dozens of people were killed or injured in the explosion at a refugee camp in the Rafah area.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said they carried out an airstrike against a Hamas compound in the area. It said it was looking into the incident.

Earlier in the day, Hamas fired eight rockets from Rafah toward Tel Aviv, the first long-range attack on the city since January.

Video from the southern Gaza Strip showed a large explosion and intense fire.

Hamas said an Israeli airstrike hit a camp for displaced Palestinians northwest of Rafah, away from recent military operations in a designated humanitarian safe zone.

It said women and children were among those killed.

The IDF said it had targeted Hamas militants in the area and said it was aware of reports that the attack sparked fires that injured civilians.

They are reviewing the incident but said they used precision weapons against legitimate targets.

In a statement, the IDF said it had “eliminated” two senior Hamas figures – Yassin Rabia Rabia and Khaled Nagar Nagar – in a “precision” airstrike “northwest of Rafah”.

The Hamas-run Health Ministry said 35 people were killed and dozens injured in an Israeli attack.

A spokesman for the Palestinian Red Crescent Society was quoted by the Associated Press as saying the death toll was likely to rise as search and rescue efforts continued in the Tal al-Sultan area of ​​Rafah, about The city center is about 2 km northwest.

A witness told Reuters news agency that an entire neighborhood in Tal Al-Sultan was “on fire”.

Another witness, Fadi Dukhan, described being sitting in front of a house when he heard an explosion.

“Suddenly we heard the sound of a rocket,” he told Reuters. “We ran and saw the streets covered in smoke. We couldn’t see anything.”

He added that when he entered a house, he found no one but later found “a girl and a young man who had been chopped into pieces”.

Getty Images Israelis took cover during rocket fire near Herzliya earlier on May 26beautiful images

Israelis took cover during rocket fire near Herzliya on Sunday

The rocket attack highlighted the threat that Hamas still poses to people across Israel, although there were no reports of injuries.

It also illustrates the challenges the Israeli military faces as it pushes deeper into southern Gaza to oust Hamas from what it calls its “last major stronghold.”

The rocket attack comes ahead of further ceasefire talks between Israel and Hamas, which are expected to continue next week.

Hamas’ military wing said it acted in response to a “massacre of civilians”.

Israel’s military campaign in Gaza began after gunmen led by Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, killing about 1,200 people and taking 252 others back to Gaza as hostages.

According to Gaza’s Hamas-run Health Ministry, nearly 36,000 Palestinians have been killed in the war since then.


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