Israeli air strikes pummel densely crowded Rafah after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered his troops to “prepare to operate” in the southern border city that has become a last holdout for displaced Palestinians, AFP reports.

Netanyahu’s planned offensive on Rafah, where an estimated 1.3 million people have sought refuge, has drawn condemnation from rights groups and Washington, while Palestinians have said they have nowhere left to retreat.

Witnesses reported new strikes on Rafah earlier today, after the Israeli military intensified air raids, with fears rising among Palestinians of a coming ground invasion.

“We don’t know where to go,” said Mohammad al-Jarrah, a Palestinian who was displaced from further north to Rafah.

Netanyahu told military officials on Friday to “submit to the cabinet a combined plan for evacuating the population and destroying the battalions” of Hamas fighters holed up in Rafah, his office said.

 Smoke rises following Israeli bombardment on a position by the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt in Rafah on Feb 9, 2024. — AFP
Smoke rises following Israeli bombardment on a position by the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt in Rafah on Feb 9, 2024. — AFP

Opinion

Editorial

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