Middle East

Israeli army claims operational control over 70% of Rafah: Media

Army alleges significant progress in its operations in Rafah, anticipating completion within weeks

Abdelraouf Arnaout  | 17.06.2024 - Update : 18.06.2024
Israeli army claims operational control over 70% of Rafah: Media

JERUSALEM

The Israeli army claimed on Monday that it has "operational control" over some 70% of the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip and aims to complete its military campaign in the area within a few weeks.

“For the past 40 days, the 162nd Division has been conducting ground maneuvers in Rafah and has achieved full operational control over about 60–70% of the city,” the Israeli Broadcasting Authority reported.

Current military offensives are concentrated in the Tel al-Sultan neighborhood and the eastern part of the Shabora neighborhood, it added.

It also said that during the occupation of the Philadelphi Corridor, which stretched along the border between southern Gaza and Egypt, dozens of long-range rockets were detected, but their control over the area prevented the rockets from launched from Rafah.

It also claimed that the army has discovered more than 200 tunnel openings and 25 complete tunnels in the area.

The Israeli military anticipates concluding its operation in Rafah within a few weeks, it said, and is awaiting political directives on whether to remain in the area or withdraw, with the option to return, if necessary, based on operational assessments and considerations.

Hamas has yet to comment on the Israeli army's claims.

Flouting a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire, Israel has faced international condemnation amid its continued brutal offensive on Gaza since an attack by Hamas last October.

More than 37,300 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, most of them women and children, and more than 85,000 others injured, according to local health authorities.

Over eight months into the Israeli war, vast tracts of Gaza lie in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water, and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, whose latest ruling ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its operation in Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on May 6.

*Writing by Mohammad Sio

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