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Israel strikes Gaza's Rafah as truce talks under way

Israel strikes Gaza's Rafah as truce talks under way
20 min read
22 February, 2024
Israel intensified its bombardment of Rafah in Gaza's south amid truce talks conducted by the United States, Egypt and Qatar to secure a pause in the war.

The New Arab's Gaza live blog is now wrapping up for the night. It will be back again tomorrow at 8am. Thanks to all for following.

Israel launched further air strikes Thursday on southern Gaza's Rafah after threatening to send troops into the city, where around 1.4 million Palestinians have sought shelter from around the territory.

Global powers trying to navigate a way to end the war have so far come up short, but a US envoy was expected in Israel on Thursday to try to secure a truce deal.

More than four months of Israeli air strikes have flattened much of the coastal territory, pushing its population of around 2.4 million to the brink of famine, according to the UN.

International concern has in recent weeks centred on Gaza's southernmost city of Rafah, where more than 1.4 million people forced to flee their homes elsewhere in the territory are now living in crowded shelters and makeshift tents.

The last city untouched by Israeli ground troops, Rafah also serves as the main entry point via neighbouring Egypt for desperately needed relief supplies.

Israel has warned it will expand its ground operations into Rafah if Hamas does not free the remaining hostages held in Gaza by next month's start of the Muslim holy month Ramadan.