Updated May 6th, 2024 at 11:25 IST

Israeli Airstrikes in Rafah Leave 19 Dead as Netanyahu Rejects Truce

At least three Israeli soldiers were killed in a rocket attack, the responsibility of which was claimed by the Hamas militant group.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Israel Attack in Rafah Kills 19 After 3 Soldiers Dead in Rocket Attack by Hamas | Image:AP

Jerusalem: Tension escalated in the Middle East after Israel and Hamas launched attacks targeting each other on Sunday.

At least three Israeli soldiers were killed in a rocket attack, the responsibility of which was claimed by the Hamas militant group. The attack was targeted at an Israeli army base at southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, where Palestinian health officials said at least 19 people were killed by Israeli fire on Sunday.


Israel's military claimed that 10 projectiles were launched from Rafah in southern Gaza towards the area of the Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza. Following the barrage by Hamas, Israel ordered shutting down the crossing into Gaza, halting aid deliveries. Meanwhile, other crossings remained open.

Hamas' armed wing claimed firing rockets targeting an Israeli army base by the crossing, but did reveal from where the rockets were launched. However, they maintained that the commercial crossing was not the target.


In retaliation, Israel launched an airstrike which hit a house in Rafah leaving three people dead and several others wounded.

Meanwhile, Israel took responsibility for the counter-strike, saying it hit the launcher from which the Hamas projectiles were fired, as well as a nearby "military structure".


"The launches carried out by Hamas adjacent to the Rafah Crossing ... are a clear example of the terrorist organisation's systematic exploitation of humanitarian facilities and spaces, and their continued use of the Gazan civilian population as human shields," a global news outlet quoting the Israeli military reported.

Baby Among 19 Dead in Rafah

Just before Sunday midnight, an air strike by Israel left nine Palestinians, including a baby, dead in a house in Rafah, media sources reported. With the new strike, the death toll on Sunday rose to 19.

PM Benjamin Netanyahu, who is facing mounting pressure from leaders of several countries to reach a peace deal with Hamas, has vowed to enter the southern Gaza city and eliminate Hamas forces there.


Sunday's attack on the crossing came as hopes dimmed for ceasefire talks under way in Cairo after Netanyahu rejected truce claims.
The Israel-Hamas war began after the militant group stunned the Jewish nation with a cross-border raid on October 7, 2023 which claimed the lives of around 1,200 people. About 252 people were taken as hostages by Hamas.

According to Gaza's health ministry, over 34,600 Palestinians have been killed and 77,000 have been wounded so far. As many as 29 people have died in the past 24 hours.


Published May 6th, 2024 at 11:05 IST