June 14th, 2024

Israel confirms its forces are in central Rafah in expanding offensive in the southern Gaza city

By The Associated Press on May 31, 2024.

Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Thursday, May 30, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

JERUSALEM (AP) – The Israeli military has confirmed that its forces are operating in central parts of Rafah in its expanding offensive in the southern Gaza city.

The military said in a statement Friday that its troops in central Rafah had uncovered Hamas rocket launchers and tunnels and dismantled a weapons storage city of the group.

Israel launched its ground assault into the city on May 6 and has mainly been operating in its eastern districts and close to the border with Egypt. This week, it also moved into the city’s western district of Tel al-Sultan, where heavy clashes with Hamas fighters have been reported by witnesses.

Friday’s statement did not specify where in central Rafah the operations were taking place, but previous statements and witness reports have pointed to raids in the Shaboura refugee camp and other sites near the city center.

More than 1 million Palestinians have fled the city since the assault began, scattering around southern and central Gaza..

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