MONITORING (SW) – The death toll from Israeli airstrikes on Rafah in southern Gaza has risen to over 100, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said on Monday.
The PRCS said people were still trapped under rubble and the death toll may increase.
The city, where more than half of Gaza’s population is seeking refuge, experienced “intense targeting” by warplanes and airstrikes, PRCS said.
Hamas condemned what it called a “horrific massacre” by Israel against civilians in Rafah on Monday after the Israeli military confirmed it conducted airstrikes near the city.
Israel’s planned ground offensive on Rafah will “blow up” the captive exchange negotiations, the Al-Aqsa television channel quoted a senior Hamas leader as saying on Sunday.
Helicopters also fired machine guns along its border regions, according to the PRCS. Rafah lies near Gaza’s border with Egypt.
The Israel Defense Forces confirmed Monday that they conducted “a series of strikes” on targets in the area of Shaboura, a district of Rafah, saying in a statement that “the strikes have concluded.”
A mosque in Shaboura was among the targets of the Israeli strikes, according to the Rafah municipality.
Hamas-run television channel Al-Aqsa reported two mosques were targeted as well as 14 homes in various areas of Rafah on Monday.
The director of Abu Yousef Al-Najjar Hospital said medical facilities in Rafah “cannot handle the large number of injuries due to the Israeli occupation’s bombardment.”
According to the PRCS, people are trapped under the rubble and there is still a heavy presence of warplanes in the skies over Rafah.
Two male Israeli hostages rescued in special operation in Rafah, IDF says
Two Israeli hostages were rescued overnight from the southern Gaza city of Rafah in a special operation between the Israel Defense Forces, Israel Security Agency Shin Bet, and the Israeli police.
The two hostages have been identified as Fernando Simon Marman, 60, and Louis Har, 70, who were taken by Hamas during the militant group’s October 7 attack on Israel, according to the joint statement on Monday.
Their rescue comes 128 days after they were taken captive.
The two men are in good medical condition and have been transferred to Sheba Medical Center in Israel, the IDF said.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said it was an “impressive release operation” by the IDF.