Photo Credit: IDF video screenshot
An IDF tank inside Rafah.

Eyewitness reports indicate that Israeli tanks have advanced into the heart of Rafah city in the southern tip of the Gaza Strip. The armored vehicles were seen in the vicinity of the al Awda mosque, a prominent landmark in central Rafah, according to witnesses who spoke to Reuters. This development comes three weeks after Israel launched a ground offensive in Rafah, an operation that has garnered significant international attention and scrutiny. The IDF has not immediately responded to these latest reports, stating that an official statement regarding the Rafah operation will be issued at a later time.

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Despite international condemnation over an attack that killed 45 Arabs in Gaza on Sunday, Israeli forces have intensified their offensive in Rafah. Airstrikes and tank fire have continued to pound the city on Tuesday. Residents report one of the worst nights of bombardment so far, with Israeli tanks pushing toward Rafah’s western neighborhoods.
According to Hamas, an airstrike on a residential house killed several civilians, bringing the overnight toll up to 16 from the bombardment. Eyewitnesses describe Israeli tanks stationed atop the Zurub hilltop, a strategic high ground overlooking western Rafah after the tanks advanced from the area near the Egyptian border crossing.

Fierce clashes have erupted between Israeli forces and fighters from Hamas and Islamic Jihad, residents say. The Tel Al-Sultan area, the scene of Sunday’s deadly attack, has remained under heavy bombardment. “Many families have fled their houses in western Rafah under fire throughout the night,” one resident told Reuters.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.