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In pictures: All eyes on Rafah as Israel's tanks enter city and Palestinians flee

Gaza-wide offensive displaces a large number of people as international condemnation grows

Our Web Desk Published 29.05.24, 04:07 PM
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An Israeli soldier waves to the camera as he moves on the top of a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, as seen from southern Israel. Israeli tanks conducted a second day of probing attacks across Rafah, after Washington said the assault did not amount to a major ground incursion of the southern Gazan city that U.S. officials had told Israel to avoid. 

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Smoke billows after an explosion in the Gaza Strip. Israeli tanks advanced to the heart of Rafah for the first time on May 28 after a night of heavy bombardment, defying an appeal from the International Court of Justice to end its attack on the city, one of the last places of refuge in Gaza.

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Palestinians fleeing from the southern Gaza city of Rafah during an Israeli ground and air offensive in the city. Around a million Palestinians took shelter in Rafah at the southern end of the Gaza Strip following Israel's offensives in most of the rest of the enclave during more than seven months of war against the Hamas militants who run the enclave. Around that number have now fled Rafah since after Israeli orders to evacuate, the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA reported. 

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An Israeli Apache helicopter fires a missile towards the Gaza Strip. Unlike tactics used in Israel's ground offensive in the rest of the enclave, Rafah residents said Israeli tanks mounted raids into Tel Al-Sultan in western Rafah and Yibna and near Shaboura in the centre before retreating to positions near the border with Egypt.

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Israel's military denied striking a tent camp in a designated civilian evacuation zone west of Rafah on May 28 after Gaza health authorities said Israeli tank shelling had killed at least 21 people there. Both Hamas and Gaza health officials rejected the Israeli denial, blaming Israel for what they described as a 'massacre'.

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Palestinian health officials said several people were wounded by Israeli fire in the eastern area of Rafah, where they also said some stores of aid were set ablaze. Residents said constant Israeli bombardment overnight destroyed many homes in the area, from where most people have fled after orders by Israel to evacuate.

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