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The ordeal of Rafah residents continue as Israel intensifies attacks

Palestinians look at the destruction after an Israeli strike on residential buildings and a mosque in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024   -  
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Fatima Shbair/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.


People in the Rafah area of the Gaza Strip were clearing through rubble and debris on Thursday after Israeli jets struck seven locations in the southern border town.

A mosque and a residential building were hit killing four people. Some 1.5 million Gazans are crammed into the area, most of them displaced from other parts of the enclave due to the ongoing war.

Many buildings were damaged in the crowded Shabour refugee camp. "The mosque they hit destroyed the entire neighbourhood," said local Marwa Abu Moussa as she cleared debris in her home. 

"At around 1:30am (local time) they dropped two shells on us here in Al-Shaboura, and Al-Shaboura is really dense with people and the displaced. And what are those with children supposed to do?"

Mourners gathered by bodies and wept in front of the Abu Yousef al-Najjar hospital as the waited for the bodies to be buried. The war began when Hamas-led militants stormed into southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing some 1,200 people and taking around 250 hostage.

About a fourth of some 130 captives still being held are believed to be dead. Israel has laid waste to much of the Palestinian territory in response.

Gaza’s Health Ministry estimates more than 29,000 Palestinians have been killed.

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