Israeli shelling kills dozens across Gaza amid intense conflict

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CAIRO:
Israeli forces pounded Rafah in southern Gaza on Friday, as well as other areas across the enclave, killing at least 38 Palestinians as troops engaged in close-quarter combat with Hamas fighters, residents and Israel’s military said.

Residents said the Israelis appeared to be trying to complete their capture of Rafah, which borders Egypt and has been the focus of an Israeli assault since early May.

Tanks were forcing their way into the western and northern parts of the city, having already captured the east, south and centre. Israeli forces fired from planes, tanks and ships off the coast, forcing a new wave of displacement from the city, which had been sheltering more than a million displaced people, most of whom have been forced to flee again.

Later on Friday, Palestinian health officials said at least 18 Palestinians were killed in Mawasi in western Rafah in what Palestinians said was a tank shelling that hit a tent housing displaced families.

“Our teams have so far dealt with 18 martyrs and 35 injuries due to the occupation’s targeting of displaced people’s tents in Mawasi #Rafah, west of the governorate,” said the Palestinian Red Crescent Society in a statement on X.

Palestinian health officials said at least 38 Palestinians had been killed in separate Israeli military strikes on Friday.

The Israeli military said on Friday it was looking into the reported strikes on Mawasi and a separate incident in Gaza City.

“and that there was no one in the world more beautiful”.

It said its forces were conducting “precise, intelligence-based” actions in the Rafah area, where troops were involved in close-quarter combat and had located tunnels used by militants.

The military also said that over the past week its forces had targeted a university that it said served as a Hamas headquarters from which militants fired on its soldiers and had found weapons and barrel bombs. It did not name the university.

In the central Gaza Strip area of Nusseirat, the military said, soldiers killed dozens of militants over the past week and found a weapons depot that contained mortar bombs and military equipment belonging to Hamas.

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