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Israeli airstrike claims 22 lives in Rafah; Gaza death toll surpasses 34,000

Israeli recent airstrikes in Rafah killed 22, including 18 children. Despite global pleas for restraint, Israel vows to escalate its offensive against Hamas, extending into Egypt’s border city. The conflict’s toll surpasses 34,000 lives, per Gaza Health Ministry.



Israeli airstrike kills 22 in Rafah; Gaza death toll surpasses 34,000

Israeli airstrikes in the southern Gaza city of Rafah overnight resulted in the tragic deaths of 22 individuals, including 18 children, according to Palestinian health officials on Sunday (21 April).

Rafah, which has become a refuge for more than half of Gaza’s 2.3 million inhabitants fleeing conflict elsewhere, has faced near-daily bombardments from Israeli forces.

Despite international calls for restraint, including from the US, Israel has declared its intent to escalate its ground offensive against the Hamas militant group, extending its operations to the border city with Egypt.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement vowing to intensify pressure on Hamas in the days ahead, asserting that it’s the only path to securing the release of hostages and achieving victory.

However, specific details regarding the escalation were not provided.

The initial Israeli airstrike in Rafah claimed the lives of a man, his wife, and their 3-year-old child, according to reports from the nearby Kuwaiti Hospital.

Tragically, the woman was pregnant, though doctors were able to save the unborn baby.

Subsequently, a second strike targeted an extended family, resulting in the deaths of 17 children and two women.

Relatives of the victims expressed anguish and disbelief, questioning why innocent children had to suffer such a fate while they were sleeping peacefully.

“These children were sleeping. What did they do? What was their fault?”

Rescue efforts continue as a woman and three children remain trapped under the rubble.

Escalating violence in West Bank amidst ongoing conflict

Tensions have also spiked in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Israeli troops killed two Palestinians who the military says attacked a checkpoint with a knife and a gun near the southern West Bank town of Hebron early Sunday.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said that the two killed were 18 and 19, from the same family. No Israeli forces were wounded, the army said.

Later, the military said its forces shot dead a 43-year-old Palestinian woman after she tried to stab a soldier in the northern West Bank near Beka’ot settlement.

The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said that it had recovered 14 bodies from an Israeli raid in the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank that began late Thursday (18 April).

Those killed include three militants from the Islamic Jihad group and a 15-year-old boy.

The military said it killed 14 militants and arrested eight suspects. Ten Israeli soldiers and one border police officer were wounded.

At least 469 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers and settlers in the West Bank since the start of the Israel-Hamas conflict, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Most have been killed during Israeli military raids or in violent protests.

The conflict was sparked by an unprecedented 7 October raid into southern Israel in which Hamas and other militants killed around 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and abducted around 250 hostages.

Israel says militants are still holding around 100 hostages and the remains of more than 30 others.

The conflict has killed at least 34,097 Palestinians and wounded another 76,980, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

The ministry suggests that the actual toll is probably higher, as numerous bodies remain trapped beneath rubble or in areas inaccessible to medical personnel.

US considers sanctions on Israeli battalion

The US was considering sanctions on Israel’s Netzah Yehuda battalion, which operates in the occupied West Bank, as reported by Axios.

The Israeli military, however, stated it was not aware of any such plans.

The battalion, founded to integrate ultra-Orthodox Jewish men into the military, has been identified as the unit potentially targeted for sanctions.

This development comes shortly after the US announced new sanctions connected to Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank, signaling growing frustration with the policies of Netanyahu’s coalition government, which relies on settler parties.

Netanyahu stated his strong opposition to sanctions, asserting, “If anyone thinks they can impose sanctions on a unit of the [Israeli army] – I will fight it with all my strength.”

Israeli war cabinet minister Benny Gantz echoed Netanyahu’s sentiments, stating that any sanctions would be detrimental to Israel’s legitimacy, particularly during a time of ongoing conflict.

Meanwhile, Israeli Minister of Education Yoav Kisch vehemently opposed the proposed sanctions, describing them as a grave and disappointing mistake that Israel will endeavour to prevent.

On another front, Israeli Labour Party leader Merav Michaeli called for the dismantling of the Netzah Yehuda unit.

“The violent and corrupt conduct of the Netzah Yehuda battalion and those around it has been known for years, and nothing has been done to stop it.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed on Friday (19 April) that determinations had been made regarding accusations of Israeli violations of US laws prohibiting military assistance to units implicated in human rights abuses, indicating that results of the investigations would be forthcoming.

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Article 58 of the Geneva Convection makes it clear that the Parties involved in a conflict (here, Hamas and IDF) must remove civilians from populated areas which may become areas of military fighting. No one is allowed to KNOWINGLY place military assets (e.g. command centers, hostages holding areas, supply distribution, etc.) near where civilians are. It further emphasizes that civilians knowingly placed in areas of military operations (sic by the “defender”) may not render such areas IMMUNE from military ops (i.e.: by the “attacker”). Basically Article 58 means if human shields used by one side are unintentionally killed by the… Read more »

In a war or any war, the drones or missiles does not have any eyes. Does it mean Hamas killed 1 Israelis, Israel has to kill 1 Hamas soldiers?

The problem is Hamas is sticking to the civilians . If 1 bomb heat one of the Hamas terrorists, of course the rest of the civilians will be affected. period

How do you you bomb a hospital if Hamas and civilians are together? tsk tsk tsk

The IDF must be really proud of themselves killing children and families.
Yes Oct 7th was wrong no denying that but to mete out revenge on children and families?

Can stop all this by giving the Palestinians Statehood which will force the Zionists out of all occupied lands. The US is responsible for this carnage because it is the only country that is blocking the Statehood of the Palestinians and all the weapons used belong to the Americans, British and Germans.