Israel’s military said early Monday that it had carried out a “wave of attacks” on Rafah, the Gaza city to which more than a million displaced Palestinians have fled.
At around 3 a.m. local time, the military said on Telegram that its attacks on “quality targets” had ended. Images and videos on social media, which could not immediately be verified, showed injured people and damage to buildings. Media reported deadly attacks on two mosques in Rafah and said people were being taken to the city’s Kuwait Hospital.
Israel’s most important allies, including the United States and Britain, have warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to press ahead with a plan to send troops to Rafah. The United Nations has said Palestinians are running out of food, clean water and medicine, and that a ground attack would risk exacerbating a catastrophe already unfolding.
Netanyahu promised on Sunday to offer Palestinians “safe passage” to areas of northern Gaza ahead of the planned ground invasion, although he did not offer details. He said Israel had no choice but to end its attack on Hamas, which he says is hiding among civilians in Rafah. The UN and aid groups have said that the people of Rafah, many of whom have already fled their homes at least once to escape Israeli attacks since the start of the war, have nowhere else to go.
Yan Zhuang contributed reports.