Israel pounds central Gaza camps, deepens invasion of Rafah

Palestinians walk near houses destroyed in the Israeli military offensive as they struggle with food scarcity, basic necessities amid the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues, in Jabalia refugee camp, in the northern Gaza Strip, June 19, 2024. REUTERS/Mahmoud Issa

CAIRO — Several Israeli air strikes in the central and northern Gaza Strip overnight and into Thursday killed at least 14 people and wounded dozens of others, according to medics, while tanks deepened their invasion into Rafah in the south, residents said.

Israeli planes struck a house in Al-Nuseirat camp, killing two people and wounding 12 others, while tanks shelled areas in Al-Maghazi and Al-Bureij camps, wounding many other people, health officials said. Nuseirat, Maghazi and Bureij are three of Gaza’s eight historic refugee camps.


In Deir al-Balah, a city packed with displaced people in the central Gaza Strip, an Israeli air strike killed one Palestinian and wounded several others on Thursday, medics said.

Later on Thursday, an Israeli air strike on a house in the Zeitoun neighborhood in Gaza City killed seven Palestinians, medics said. There was no immediate comment from the Israeli military.

Another air strike on a house west of the city killed a journalist of the Hamas-run Al-Aqsa TV, Hamas media said. The Hamas-run Gaza government media office said Israeli fire has killed 152 journalists since Oct 7.

The Israeli military said on Wednesday forces were continuing their operations across the enclave targeting militants and military infrastructure in what it described as “precise, intelligence-based” activities.

More than eight months into the war in Gaza, Israel’s advance is now focused on the two last areas its forces had yet to storm: Rafah on Gaza’s southern edge and the area surrounding Deir al-Balah in the centre. The operations have forced more than a million people to flee since May, the vast majority already displaced from other parts of the enclave.

In Rafah, near the border with Egypt, Israeli tanks stationed deep in the western and central areas of the city stepped up bombardment, forcing more families living in the far coastal areas to flee northward. Some residents said the pace of the raid has been accelerated in the past two days.

Hamas’ armed wing said on Thursday its fighters hit two Israeli tanks with anti-tank rockets in the Shaboura camp in the city of Rafah. Following the attack soldiers escaped into the alleys of the camp before being gunned down by the fighters, the group said. There was no Israeli immediate comment on the Hamas claim.

On Thursday, Israeli authorities freed 33 Palestinians who had been detained during the past months by Israeli forces in different areas of the enclave.

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