• Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

Biden Urges Israel to Avoid Bloodshed in Rafah: Death Toll Rises as Violence Escalates in Gaza Strip

ByEditor

Feb 12, 2024
22 killed in Israeli airstrike on Rafah refugee camp, say local health officials

On Monday, Israeli strikes on Gaza’s southern city of Rafah resulted in the death of 22 people and injuries to dozens, according to local health officials. This came after U.S. President Joe Biden advised Israel not to attack Rafah without a credible plan to protect civilians. Residents contacted by Reuters via a chat app reported that heavy bombing caused widespread panic in Rafah, with many people fearing that Israel had begun its ground offensive into the city.

The Israeli military announced on Monday that it had conducted a “series of strikes” on southern Gaza, but did not provide further details. In the past, before assaults on Gaza cities, Israel’s military has ordered civilians to leave without preparing any specific evacuation plan.

Biden spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday and urged Israel not to launch a military operation in Rafah without a credible plan to ensure the safety of the approximately 1 million people seeking refuge there. Aid agencies warned that an attack on Rafah would be catastrophic as it is the last relatively safe place in an enclave devastated by Israel’s military offensive.

During their conversation, Biden expressed grave concern over the rising civilian death toll in the Palestinian enclave and emphasized that he wanted peace for both sides. He also reiterated his condemnation of Hamas militants who killed 1,200 people and abducted at least 250 during their October 7 incursion into southern Israel. The Hamas-run health ministry reported that Israel has responded with a military assault on Gaza Strip that has killed more than 28,000 Palestinians since March this year when violence erupted between Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem and throughout Gaza Strip.

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