An Israeli air strike on the southern Gaza Strip killed at least 9 Palestinians in Rafah, including 6 children.

Rafah (Gaza Strip) – Medical sources said on Saturday that an Israeli air strike on a house in the city of Rafah in the far south of the Gaza Strip resulted in the deaths of at least nine people, six of them children, as Israel continued its nearly seven-month-long offensive in the territories. Besieged Palestinian. .

Israel war The war against the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) led to a significant escalation of tensions in the Middle East, particularly between the two countries Israel and Iran In recent weeks. Now attention is returning to Rafah, where more than half of Gaza's population of about 2.3 million people live, many of whom were displaced by fighting elsewhere.

Relatives cried and hugged the bodies of children shrouded in Al-Najjar Hospital. “Hamza, my love,” said the sad grandmother, “Your hair looks so beautiful.”

His sister's husband, Ahmed Barhoum, said that among the dead were Abdel Fattah Subhi Radwan, his wife Naglaa Ahmed Aweida, and their three children. Barhoum lost his wife, Rawan Radwan, and their 5-year-old daughter, Alaa.

“This is a world devoid of all human values ​​and morals,” Barhoum told The Associated Press, crying as he embraced Alaa’s body. “The only martyrs are women and children.”

Israel has insisted on this for months Planning a ground attack To Rafah, where it says many remaining Hamas activists are holed up, despite calls for restraint from the international community Including the United States, Israel's strongest ally.

Some Palestinians left the Rafah area near the border with Egypt on Saturday after receiving an eviction warning from the Israeli army. “Guys, they're going to strike at 3:40. It's happening. What time is it?” One. Minutes later, the blow struck. It was not immediately known if anyone had been killed.

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Also on Saturday, an Israeli airstrike struck a house in the Bureiji refugee camp in central Gaza, killing at least one man and wounding two others, according to authorities at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, where an AP journalist saw the victims.

The war broke out because An unprecedented raid on October 7 on southern Israel Hamas and other armed groups killed about 1,200 people, the vast majority of them civilians, and witnessed the kidnapping and transfer of about 250 people to Gaza. Israel says about 130 hostages remain in Gaza Although more than 30 died.

Frustration continues among many in Israel, and thousands of anti-government protesters in Tel Aviv have once again called for new elections and an agreement to release the remaining hostages. One protester, Iris Milnar, said: “We don’t know what to do anymore, so we are here crying and screaming for help.”

The Gaza Ministry of Health said that the number of Palestinian deaths due to the war reached at least 34,049, in addition to 76,901 wounded, adding that the bodies of 37 people killed in Israeli raids were transferred to hospitals during the past 24 hours. The health authorities run by Hamas do not differentiate between fighters and civilians in their statistics, but at least they say so Two-thirds of them were children and women.

Israel blames Hamas for civilian casualties, saying it is present among the population.

The war led to escalation of regional tensions. On Friday, Israel and arch-enemy Iran It appeared to downplay the importance of the Israeli air strike near a major air base and nuclear site in central Iran, signaling their withdrawal from what could have become an all-out war. A week ago, Iran launched a missile Unprecedented missile bombardment On Israel after an alleged Israeli raid killed him Two Iranian generals At the Iranian consulate in Syria.

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Israel continues to confront Iranian proxies, frequently exchanging missile and drone attacks across the Lebanese-Israeli border with the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militant group. Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen launched strikes against commercial ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden in what they described as solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

Tensions are also high in Occupied West Bank.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said that 12 bodies were recovered today, Saturday, from the Nour al-Sham refugee camp, bringing the death toll to 13 since the start of the Israeli military operation in the area on Thursday evening. She added that they were martyred “as a result of the occupation’s aggression.”

The Islamic Jihad movement confirmed the killing of three of its members. The other dead man was a 15-year-old boy. The Israeli army said that its forces killed 10 activists in the camp and its surrounding areas, while eight suspects were arrested. It added that nine of its officers and soldiers were injured.

At least 469 Palestinians from East Jerusalem and the West Bank have been killed by Israeli fire since October, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

Elsewhere in the West Bank, the ministry said an ambulance driver was shot dead near the town of Al-Sawiya while trying to reach Palestinians injured in clashes with Israeli settlers. The Palestinian Red Crescent said that Muhammad Musa was shot in the chest. a A wave of settler attacks It started a week ago after an Israeli teenager disappeared and was found dead.

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Magdy reported from Cairo. Associated Press writer Jack Jeffrey in Jerusalem contributed.

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Find more AP coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war

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