Israeli strikes kill 'around 100' in Rafah, says Hamas health ministry

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The strikes hit 14 houses and three mosques in different parts of Rafah, according to the Hamas government

Israeli strikes kill 'around 100' in Rafah, says Hamas health ministry

Israel pounded Gaza with heavy air strikes, killing "around 100" people Monday, the territory's Hamas-run health ministry said in a statement.

The statement revised upward the ministry's earlier toll of 52 people killed in the strikes on the city along the Egyptian border.

The strikes hit 14 houses and three mosques in different parts of Rafah, according to the Hamas government.

Earlier on Sunday, Hamas warned Israel that a ground offensive in Rafah, crowded with displaced Gazans, would imperil future hostage releases. At the same time, U.S. President Joe Biden urged the protection of civilians in the besieged territory.

Foreign governments, including Israel's key ally, the United States, and aid groups have voiced deep concern over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's vow to extend operations into the far-southern Gaza city.

Rafah, on the border with Egypt, has remained the last refuge for Palestinians fleeing Israel's relentless bombardment elsewhere in the Gaza Strip in its four-month war against Hamas, triggered by the group's Oct. 7 attack.

"Any attack by the occupation army on the city of Rafah would torpedo the exchange negotiations," a Hamas leader told Agence France-Presse (AFP) on condition of anonymity.

Netanyahu has told troops to prepare to enter the city, which now hosts more than half of Gaza's total population, spurring concern about the impact on displaced civilians.

Source: AFP

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