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Israeli airstrikes hit Rafah

The Israeli military carried out airstrikes Thursday in the southern Gaza city of Rafah targeting what it said were militants who had fired rockets from the area.

The Israel Defense Forces said it successfully intercepted about five rockets launched from Rafah.

Israeli forces also intercepted “suspicious aerial targets” that crossed into Israeli territory from southern Lebanon on Thursday, while two drones following the same path fell in Israel’s Galilee area.

Israel and the Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah have been clashing across the border throughout the war in Gaza, raising fears of an expanded conflict in the region.

FILE – A Palestinian woman inspects the damage, after Israeli forces withdrew from Shejaiya neighborhood following a ground operation, amid Israel-Hamas conflict, in eastern part of Gaza City, July 10, 2024.

Fighting also continued Thursday in Gaza City, in northern Gaza, a day after Israel issued an evacuation order calling on civilians there to leave.

Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said Wednesday the latest evacuation “will only fuel mass suffering for Palestinian families, many of whom have been displaced many times.”

“These civilians must be protected, and their essential needs must be met, whether they flee or whether they stay,” Dujarric said.

The World Food Program posted on X Wednesday that there was “intensified military action” in Gaza City, resulting in “escalating humanitarian needs.” WFP said the situation is “unpredictable and volatile.”

Aid destined for the Gaza Strip sits at the Kerem Shalom crossing in southern Israel, July 10, 2024.

Aid destined for the Gaza Strip sits at the Kerem Shalom crossing in southern Israel, July 10, 2024.

Hamas militants killed about 1,200 people and captured about 250 hostages in their October 7 terror attack on Israel that sparked the war. Israel says it believes Hamas is still holding 116 hostages, including 42 the military says are dead.

The Israeli counteroffensive has killed more than 38,200 people, according to the health ministry in Gaza, which doesn’t distinguish between civilians and combatants.

Some information for this story was provided by The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.

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