Israeli tanks roll into Rafah as strikes continue

UN Security Council prepares to hold emergency meeting

RAFAH   -   Israeli tanks reached the center of Rafah for the first time on Tuesday, witnesses said, as the military pressed its incursion into Gaza’s southernmost city despite mounting international opposition to the operation. The tanks were spotted near Al-Awda mosque, a central Rafah landmark, the witnesses told Reuters. The Israeli military said its forces continued to operate in the Rafah area without commenting on reported advances into the city center.

Footage from Al Jazeera posted to social media purported to show the tanks advancing into Rafah.

There was no immediate comment from the IDF on the witness accounts, with the military saying it will issue a statement on the Rafah operation later in the day.

Amid mounting international pressure, Israel insists that the military operation in Rafah is crucial to its goal of eliminating Hamas and freeing the hostages seized during the terror group’s October 7 massacre. The UN Security Council was set to convene an emergency meeting Tuesday over an Israeli strike targeting Hamas operatives that also reportedly killed dozens in a displaced persons camp in Rafah, with three European countries slated to formally recognize a Palestinian state.

AFP journalists on the ground early Tuesday reported fresh Israeli strikes overnight in the southern Gaza border city, where an Israeli attack targeting two senior Hamas members on Sunday night sparked a fire that ripped through a nearby displacement center, killing 45 people, according to Hamas-run Gaza health officials.

The attack prompted a wave of international condemnation, with Palestinians and many Arab countries calling it a “massacre.” Israel said it was looking into the “tragic mishap.”

Tzedakah Gift CardsKeep Watching “There is no safe place in Gaza. This horror must stop,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres posted on social media.

UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths pointed to the widespread warnings of civilian deaths that circulated ahead of Israel’s incursion into Rafah, saying in a statement: “We’ve seen the consequences in last night’s utterly unacceptable attack.” At least 29 killed in two separate Israeli attacks in Rafah on Tuesday, Palestinian officials say

From Tareq El Helou in Rafah and CNN’s Abeer Salman and Zeena Saifi

At least 29 Palestinians have been killed in two separate Israeli attacks that hit displacement camps in the Rafah governorate on Tuesday, according to Gaza’s Ministry of Health and the Emergency Committee of the Rafah Governorate.

The first attack happened at around 3 a.m. on Tuesday (local time) in Tal al-Sultan camp in western Rafah when a strike hit three tents, according to residents and a CNN stringer in Rafah. At least eight people were killed and transferred to a field hospital in Tal Al-Sultan camp, according to the committee.

The Tal al-Sultan camp is located next to a UN warehouse, whose walls were damaged from the strike according to video from a CNN stringer on the ground. The camp that was hit on Tuesday is about 150 meters away from another displacement camp that an Israeli strike and ensuing fire hit just two days ago, killing at least 45 people and wounding more than 200 others.

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