On Monday, Israeli strikes on the southern city of Rafah resulted in the deaths of 22 people and injuries to dozens, local health officials stated. After U.S. President Joe Biden advised Israel not to attack Rafah without a credible plan to protect civilians, the Israeli military conducted a “series of strikes” that have now concluded. However, the military did not provide further details about the attacks.
Residents contacted by Reuters using a chat app reported that heavy bombing caused widespread panic in Rafah, as many people were asleep when the strikes started. Some feared that Israel had begun its ground offensive into Rafah.
Israel’s military has previously ordered civilians to leave cities targeted for attack without preparing any specific evacuation plans. In response to previous assaults on Gaza cities, residents have been left with few options but to try and fend for themselves during the attacks.
Aid agencies have warned that an assault on Rafah would be catastrophic, as it is the last relatively safe place in an enclave devastated by Israel’s military offensive. The Hamas-run health ministry reported that Israel has responded with a military assault on the Gaza Strip that has killed more than 28,000 Palestinians since 2007.
On Sunday, Biden spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and advised him not to launch a military operation in Rafah without a credible plan to ensure the safety of the roughly 1 million people sheltering there. Aid agencies warn that an assault on Rafah would be catastrophic, as it is the last relatively safe place in an enclave devastated by Israel’s military offensive.
Biden and Netanyahu spoke for about 45 minutes after Biden said Israel’s military response in the Gaza Strip had been “over