Israel-Gaza war: 'Where can we go?' Fear in Rafah after Israeli strikes kill dozens - BBC News

Rafah

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Rafah - Figure 1
Photo BBC News

Revised by Emily Atkinson

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IDF Holds Civilians Hostage In Brutal Conditions

An individual representing the armed forces of Israel has shared further information regarding the intervention to liberate hostages in Rafah that took place on Sunday.

According to Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, the spokesperson of the Israel Defense Forces, two individuals have been released at approximately 01:50 in the local time (23:50 in the Greenwich Mean Time).

He announced that Fernando Simon Marman and Louis Har, who are 60 and 70 years old respectively, were discovered "far into Rafah... being kept in very difficult circumstances".

The captives were deliberately kept in a residential area and a civilian structure to hinder us from saving them. However, we managed to accomplish the rescue.

According to Hagari, the duo returned to Israel and had their medical checkups. They have also been united with their loved ones.

He mentions that the successful rescue mission highlights how crucial our ground operations are in Gaza, particularly in Rafah, when it is possible.

We have a responsibility to bring back all of our captives. We are committed to doing everything we can to meet this obligation.

"Israel Urges Relief Agencies To Aid Evacuation"

The government of Israel is requesting the cooperation of United Nations relief agencies in facilitating the safe evacuation of civilians from conflict zones. This request comes in anticipation of Israel's upcoming plan to conduct a ground operation in Rafah.

During a media conference, a representative from the government named Eylon Levy encouraged everyone by saying, "Let's not conclude that it's impossible. Instead, let's collaborate and come up with a solution together."

Many people believe that Rafah, a city located in the southern part of Gaza near the Egyptian border, is the sole place where people of Gaza can seek shelter from the Israeli army's actions in other parts of the territory.

There are approximately 1.5 million individuals speculated to be gathered in that area, resulting in significant apprehension regarding any potential land-based military procedure.

Rafah Mosque Devastated In Israeli Attacks

During the night, Israel launched attacks that resulted in the deaths of many individuals and the destruction of structures in Rafah's southern region, which has become home to approximately 1.5 million Palestinians seeking refuge.

One of the structures that sustained damage was the Al-Huda mosque situated in the Yabna refugee camp.

Check out these fresh pictures captured earlier today at the location:

UK Sanctions Israeli Settlers In West Bank

There's some fresh news from the UK - the Foreign Office has declared that it is cracking down on four Israeli settlers who they assert are "extremists" and have committed human rights violations against Palestinian communities located in the West Bank.

As per the Foreign Office, these comprise of:

Rewritten blog: The words of Lord Cameron, the Foreign Secretary, reveal that the Israeli settlers with extreme views are endangering the lives of Palestinians. They are using guns to intimidate them and take away their land that belongs to them legally. Such conduct falls outside the boundaries of the law and morality. The authorities in Israel must intervene more firmly to curb the violent acts of the settlers and ensure that they do not continue.

Rafah's Disease And Hunger: Where Can We Go?

A physician in Rafah reports that the residents in the area are scared upon the likelihood of an Israeli ground mission. The reason for such fear is due to the recent air strikes conducted in the city which, according to the doctor, are some of the most severe ones he has witnessed during his time there.

According to the BBC, Dr. Ahmed Abuibaid stated that the biggest concern among people is finding a safe place to go. There is an increasing sense of urgency as Rafah had previously been regarded as the only safe haven within Gaza.

He was compelled to leave his work at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis because of the destruction of his house in an Israeli airstrike and his father's severe spinal injury, which had a traumatizing effect on him.

According to the medical professional, the state of affairs for the citizens in the border city is getting worse with each passing day. They have limited access to basic necessities such as water and food, alongside a reduction in medical resources.

A lot of individuals are residing in tents, however, a larger number are slumbering on the pavements because of the excessive amount of people, according to him.

I notice that many individuals in this area suffer from illnesses such as infections in the urinary tract and skin conditions. Unfortunately, the lack of access to medications and medical assistance has made these health issues even worse.

Dr Abuibaid sent several messages via phone throughout the night and described the air strikes as constant and widespread.

"At 3:00am, he wrote that individuals are uncertain about what actions to take."

Rephrased: "According to Dr. Ahmed Abuibaid, individuals attempting to flee from the rocket attacks towards safe locations like schools and ambulances, are finding it extremely challenging to do so as they are constantly being bombarded. This is causing a great deal of fear and anxiety among children."

"New Here? Let's Catch Up!"

Hello everybody, it's currently around 3:00 PM in both Gaza and Israel, which translates to 1:00 PM in GMT time. I would like to share with you some of the most recent updates:

Hostages Reunite With Families In Emotional Video

Fernando Simon Marman and Louis Har, who were saved by the Israeli military in Rafah, have been joyfully reunited with their loved ones in a heartfelt gathering at Sheba Medical Center in Israel.

Since October 7th, Hamas had been keeping the individuals who were their brothers-in-law captive.

Court Orders Dutch To Halt F-35 Parts Sale To Israel

We've received some fresh updates from Europe - an appeals court situated in the Netherlands has declared that the Netherlands are required to discontinue their exportation of F-35 fighter jet components to Israel.

In December of last year, a number of organizations dedicated to the protection of human rights, such as the Oxfam division based in the Netherlands, filed a lawsuit against the Dutch government.

They have claimed that the transportation of F-35 components infringes upon war regulations - due to the fact that the Netherlands is well aware that these fighter aircrafts are utilized in assaults on the Gaza Strip.

The components belonging to the United States are kept in a local storage facility situated in Woensdrecht, and later transported to a variety of nations, including Israel.

Before, a court of law stated that the act of exporting was mainly influenced by political factors and it was inappropriate for judges to interfere.

Earlier today, a court ruling stated unequivocally that there is a distinct possibility that the exported F-35 components may be utilized to commit grave offenses against international humanitarian law.

Impact Of Rafah Strikes On Community

According to reports from Rafah, the inhabitants there were alarmed and disoriented due to the Israeli bombings that impacted the local mosque and several private residences. The unexpected attacks occurred while people were asleep, and the result was general confusion and disruption throughout the community.

I have some video clips captured this morning in the metropolis after the lethal assaults launched by Israel.

"Scottish Doctor: 25 Family Members Trapped In Rafah"

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A British doctor who is of Palestinian descent named Dr Salim Ghayyda is currently facing a tough situation as 25 of his family members are stuck in Rafah. This area was targeted by Israeli attacks and resulted in the deaths of many individuals during the night.

During an interview with the Good Morning Scotland programme on BBC, he stated that his family members are living in a cramped flat with 25 other individuals, children included. All 50 people in the flat rest on the floor, constantly disturbed by the noise of bombs going off throughout the night.

The sibling of the person in question is employed as a nurse and has attempted to transform their living quarters into a makeshift medical center since all of the nearby clinics have been “taken apart and wrecked,” as per his words.

Ghayyda, who works as a paediatrician consultant in Inverness, asserts that he feels extremely distressed due to his concern for his family, particularly his nephew who has cancer. The circumstance he is in is challenging and difficult for him to bear.

Rephrased: The individual is completely unaware if their cancer is progressing. Meanwhile, my nephew who is autistic experiences extreme episodes whenever he is exposed to various sounds.

The following passage has been paraphrased: Currently, their existence cannot be described as a life; as the water available to them is polluted, they consume only a single meal each day, and even children have succumbed to malnutrition.

They don't know when they'll be killed, and it's really difficult to handle.

According to our previous reports, Israel initiated an attack on Rafah during the night, resulting in the deaths of many individuals.

The town of Rafah is situated in the southern region of Gaza, at a distance of approximately 30 kilometer (which equals almost 19 miles) towards the southwest direction as compared to Gaza City.

Additionally, this location serves as the sole passageway connecting Gaza and Egypt.

Approximately 1.5 million individuals are taking refuge in Rafah due to being displaced by Israeli actions in different locations.

A lot of individuals are currently residing in tents, experiencing scarcity of provisions like food, water, and medical aid.

Rafah Residents 'fearful Of Future' - UN Envoy

According to a spokesperson of the United Nations in Gaza who was interviewed by the BBC World Service's Newsday programme, individuals living in Rafah are extremely frightened about their future.

Georgios Petropoulos, who leads the UN unit responsible for coordinating humanitarian efforts, described the situation as deteriorating and noted that there is a severe lack of available food, clean water, healthcare services, sanitation, and even basic living accommodations.

He mentioned that residents in Rafah are coexisting with five other families in one classroom, and he has witnessed a decline in adherence to legal regulations.

According to estimates, approximately 1.5 million individuals reside in the southern part of Gaza. Numerous people in this area have been displaced from other areas within The Strip.

According to Petropoulos, if the Israeli government intends to extend the conflict into Rafah, it is a source of worry and fear.

'Hostages Rescued, New Image Released: Welcome Home!'

A fresh picture of Louis Har and Fernando Simon Marman has been released this morning, where they are seen hugging their loved ones, after being rescued through the efforts of the Israeli military from Rafah overnight.

A group known as Bring Them Home Now, consisting of friends and family members of hostages who were taken by Hamas militants, recently shared a photo on social media that showed their joy in welcoming the pair back home.

"We are very pleased to have you joining us. We will continue to insist on the release of all 134 individuals being held captive," stated the organization.

The UK was graced by Tzipi Hotovely, Israel's ambassador, who posted a photo depicting a rescue as a heartwarming victory, prompting a sense of ease and happiness.

On X, which used to be called Twitter, she wrote that this action shows how determined we are to bring them home as soon as possible.

The blog section is copyrighted by Bring Them Home Now/X.

Overnight In Gaza: 164 Killed, Says Hamas Health Ministry

The health ministry governed by Hamas in Gaza has released their usual update on the number of casualties. According to the report, 28,340 Palestinians have lost their lives, while almost 68,000 of them have been injured in the region since the 7th of October.

The department reported that Gaza has seen 164 deaths and 200 injuries within the past day, but the specific number of casualties resulting from Israeli strikes in Rafah during the night remains uncertain.

We received different information regarding the incident. Ashraf al-Qudra, who represents the health ministry, stated that 67 individuals lost their lives in Rafah. However, AFP news agency is reporting that the death toll has surpassed 100 in the vicinity located on the Egypt border, also based on the health ministry's data.

After Hamas gunmen killed more than 1,200 people and took 253 people captive in southern Israel on October 7, the Israeli military launched an operation in the Gaza Strip. Some of the hostages were eventually released.

"Civilians In Rafah Describe Living In A Hellish World"

Suhhaib, a resident of the Shaboura district in Rafah, was able to listen to significant gunfire and serious blasts throughout the night as the Israeli aerial assaults and mission to liberate hostages progressed.

In an interview with the AFP news organization, he stated:

At around midnight, we heard loud explosions that resembled a terrible scene of devastation for the civilians. It's alarming what occurred. According to the Israelis, they successfully rescued hostages from the location, but the actuality is unknown to us.

Blog: In this location, there was intense gunfire that sounded like a massive conflict, and we observed a helicopter landing, yet we did not witness any individuals being held captive. Unfortunately, the harsh reality is that everyday civilians are experiencing a living nightmare due to the current circumstances.

Palestinian Authority Denounces Israeli "massacre" In Rafah

As previously mentioned in our reports, Israel carried out a series of deadly attacks during the night in addition to their rescue operation in the southern part of Gaza.

The foreign ministry of the Palestinian Authority has criticized and condemned Israel for what they refer to as a mass killing that occurred in Rafah.

The governing body in charge of the West Bank, known as the PA, has reported that the recent attacks resulted in the loss of 100 lives and caused numerous injuries.

Despite this, we have been given differing accounts of the number of fatalities. A representative of the health department in Gaza, which is controlled by Hamas, claimed that a minimum of 67 Palestinians had lost their lives. Initial reports suggested that the figure was closer to 100.

On a particular date, the ministry stated that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu engages in mass killings with a mindset of vengeance rather than triumph, and not in adherence to global regulations, as he asserts.

Netanyahu has declared that he will continue with the military attack in Gaza.

IDF Rescues Hostages From Rafah Building's 2nd Floor

Moving on to recent developments, it has been reported that Israel successfully freed two male hostages named Fernando Simon Marman, aged 60, and Louis Har, aged 70. The rescue took place in the southern city of Rafah.

According to a declaration made by Daniel Hagari, a representative of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Israeli troops entered a structure located "in the center of Rafah." During their search, the soldiers discovered two males who were being restrained by Hamas militants in an apartment on the building's second floor.

According to Hagari, as soon as they arrived, soldiers protected Marman and Har by placing their bodies in harm's way. This led to a bold confrontation, where gunfire was exchanged at multiple locations concurrently.

According to a spokesperson, the two individuals were saved from the burning apartment, and the IDF provided them with security in the Rafah region until they could get to a secure location.

According to Hagari, the invasion happened during the wee hours of the morning at 01:49 based on the local time (23:49 by GMT).

"We have been getting ready for this action for quite some time," says Hagari. Hamas abducted the two individuals from Nir Yitzhak kibbutz on October 7th and kept them captive until now.

Mom In Rafah Plans Another Evacuation

Ghada El Kurd, a mother who has two children, has been relocating frequently for four months. She has been residing temporarily in a home owned by a family member in Rafah, but there is a possibility that she will have to relocate once again.

She informed BBC Radio 4's Today programme that Israel carried out a military action at 01:00 in the early hours of the morning.

Numerous Palestinians were slaughtered while we were peacefully sleeping in our homes. This alarming event serves as a wake-up call for us to hastily vacate Rafah. This is due to the fact that similar scenarios occurred in other nearby locations such as Khan Younis and Gaza City.

Once more, we are intending to relocate from Rafah.

Ghada hears the sounds of both airplanes and unmanned aerial vehicles. She is anticipating the announcement of a plan for evacuation.

"Normally, they distribute flyers and post on social media platforms advising on where to evacuate. Therefore, we are anticipating further instructions," Ghada elaborates.

Rafah Strikes: Dozens Killed, Hostages Saved

Several significant changes have occurred in the Israel-Gaza conflict over the past few hours. Allow us to update you on the essential information:

Hamas-run Ministry Reports 67 Deaths In Rafah

Recently, we received new information on the number of casualties from the health ministry managed by Hamas. The spokesperson, Ashraf Al-Qudra confirmed that during the night in Rafah, there were 67 deaths due to airstrikes.

As we have informed previously, there are conflicting reports today regarding the quantity of casualties caused by the Israeli attacks. According to AFP, the number of fatalities is approximately 100, which has been confirmed by the health department in Gaza, run by Hamas.

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