Rafah attack to lead to ‘large scale’ casualties

  • The UN says “everything possible” must be done to avoid an Israeli attack on Rafah, a city in southern Gaza, which it says could lead to a “large scale” loss of life.
  • Palestinian Health Ministry says at least 107 Palestinians killed by Israeli attacks across Gaza in last 24 hours.

    Israeli ambassador arrives at Russian foreign ministry

    Simona Halperin has arrived at the Russian foreign ministry a day after authorities said she would be summoned over “unacceptable comments” in an interview according to state-owned news agency RIA Novosti.

    In the interview with the Kommersant newspaper, Halperin accused Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov of playing down the importance of the Holocaust and said Russia was being too friendly with Hamas.

    Israeli forces continue to besiege Khan Younis hospital, doctor says

    Dr Nahed Abu Taima, the director of the surgical division at the Nasser Medical Complex, tells Al Jazeera the Israeli army is continuing to besiege the hospital while also targeting areas nearby.

    “Since the siege, we have received 630 wounded patients, most of them seriously injured,” he said.

    “We face major and serious challenges, including severe shortages of fuel and medical supplies. We also have a huge shortage of medical personnel.”

    Abu Taima added that the accumulation of waste in and around the hospital poses a serious health threat.

    Rafah attack could result in ‘large scale’ loss of civilian lives: UN

    The UN says “everything possible” must be done to avoid an Israeli attack on Rafah, a city in southern Gaza, which it says could lead to a “large scale” loss of life.

    “We can warn what might unfold with the ground invasion, and we can make clear what the law says,” the UN humanitarian office warned.

    “Under international humanitarian law, indiscriminate bombing of densely populated areas may amount to war crimes,” Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said at a briefing in Geneva.

    “So to be clear, intensified hostilities in Rafah in this situation could lead to large scale loss of civilian lives, and we must do everything possible within our power to avoid that.”

    About 1.4 million people are sheltering in Rafah after being ordered there by Israeli forces, which previously described the area as a “safe zone”.

    Israeli leaders reviewing planned attack on Rafah: Report

    Israeli authorities are reviewing military plans for an attack on southern Rafah, a city once called a “safe zone” where Palestinians were ordered to move to.

    “Residents of the Gaza Strip will be evacuated from Rafah before initiating military operations there,” Israeli public broadcaster KAN quoted “political sources” as saying.

    On Monday, Israel’s Defence Minister Yoav Gallant reiterated the military’s “next target” in Gaza will be Rafah, claiming it’s the last remaining Hamas stronghold.

    Rights groups have warned against any Israeli offensive in Rafah, which could result in a huge loss of lives with an estimated 1.4 million people sheltering there.

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