The strikes caused significant damage and smoke could be seen rising above the city. Rafah, which currently houses more than half of Gaza’s population, has become a refuge for those fleeing bombardment in other parts of the Strip.The Hamas government stated that the strikes targeted 14 houses and three mosques in various areas of Rafah.
In response to the incident, the Israeli military released a statement on Monday confirming that it had carried out a series of strikes on what it referred to as “terror targets” in the Shaboura area of southern Gaza. The military further noted that the strikes had been completed. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has given orders for the army to prepare for a ground offensive on Rafah, which is considered to be the last major population center in Gaza that Israeli troops have yet to enter since the conflict began following Hamas’s attacks on October 7.
The situation in Rafah is dire, with an estimated 1.4 million Palestinians seeking shelter in the city. Many are living in tents, and essential resources such as food, water, and medicine are becoming increasingly scarce. The escalating violence and displacement of civilians have created a humanitarian crisis in the area.
Quoting the health ministry of the Hamas-run territory, “At least 52 people have lost their lives in the heavy air strikes on Rafah. The situation in the city is dire, with thousands of people seeking shelter and limited access to essential resources.”