Six Palestinians Killed As Israeli Forces Pound Southern, Northern Gaza

AT least six Palestinians have been killed in Gaza’s southern city of Rafah, according to the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), and several homes have been destroyed as Israeli forces pushed deeper into the city and pressed further into Shujayea in northern Gaza.

Israeli tanks, which re-entered Shujayea four days ago, fired shells towards several houses, leaving families trapped inside and unable to leave, residents said.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimated that “60,000 to 80,000 people were displaced” from Shujayea in recent days.

For those who remain, “our lives have become hell”, said 50-year-old resident Siham al-Shawa.

She told the AFP news agency that people were trapped as strikes could happen “anywhere” and “it is difficult to get out of the neighbourhood under fire”.

“We do not know where to go to protect ourselves,” she said.

Al Jazeera’s Tareq Abu Azzoum, reporting from Deir el-Balah, said residents who managed to flee the neighbourhood say the scale of destruction is “massive”.

He said the central areas of Gaza City have also been “pounded” by Israeli forces.

“In the past hour, a residential flat was targeted. Medical sources we’ve talked to say at least 15 people have been killed today in the north after people’s homes were directly hit by artillery shells,” Abu Azzoum said.

He noted that in Rafah, there was a continuation of “indiscriminate Israeli attacks as residents flee for their lives”.

“In the al-Mawasi district – declared a ‘safe zone’ by Israel’s military – they’ve been setting fire to makeshift tent camps where displaced Palestinians have been sheltering,” he added.

Speaking at a weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeated his stance that there was no substitute for victory in the war against Hamas.

“We are committed to fighting until we achieve all of our objectives: Eliminating Hamas, returning all of our hostages, ensuring that Gaza never again constitutes a threat to Israel and returning our residents securely to their homes in the south and the north,” he said.

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