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Combat actions intensified in Gaza Strip, city of Rafah under heavy shelling

Combat actions intensified in Gaza Strip, city of Rafah under heavy shelling Combat actions have intensified in Rafah, and the humanitarian situation has deteriorated (photo: Getty Images)

On Monday, May 13, Israeli forces advanced deep into the ruins on the northern outskirts of Gaza to reclaim territory from Hamas militants. At the same time, in the south, tanks and troops broke through the highway to the city of Rafah, forcing the civilian population to evacuate urgently, according to Reuters.

Intense fighting continues in northern and southern Gaza, with some of the most intense battles in recent weeks. Israeli operations in the city of Rafah, bordering Egypt, have closed the main border crossing point for humanitarian aid, exacerbating an already difficult situation.

Hundreds of thousands of people are once again forced to flee after about half of Gaza's population found shelter there.

The Gaza Health Ministry has called on the international community to reopen access through the southern border to deliver aid, medicine, and fuel for generators and ambulances.

"The wounded and sick suffer a slow death because there is no treatment and supplies and they cannot travel," the statement said.

Additionally, a foreign UN worker was killed on Monday when the car he was traveling in was shelled on its way to a hospital in Rafah - this is the first international casualty of the UN in the Gaza conflict.

In Jabalia in northern Gaza, a refugee camp established for displaced Palestinians 75 years ago, Israeli troops advanced into an area where, they claim, Hamas positions were eliminated several months ago.

Tank shells fell in the center of the camp, and health officials reported that 20 bodies were found as a result of overnight airstrikes.

In Rafah, Israel intensified aerial and ground bombardments of the eastern parts of the city, resulting in casualties in one of the buildings in the Brazil quarter.

Residents reported intensified Israeli aerial and ground bombardments, with tanks blocking the main Salahuddin road running north to south, separating the eastern part of the city from the central.

According to the main UN aid agency in Gaza (UNRWA), approximately 360,000 people have left Rafah after Israeli forces issued the first evacuation order a week ago. They are moving to empty plots of land, including Al-Mawasi - a small strip of land along the coast that Israel has designated as an expanded humanitarian zone.

Military operation of Israel in the city of Rafah

Recently, Israel announced its intention to conduct a military operation in the city of Rafah in southern Gaza. According to Tel Aviv, there are still Hamas terrorists in the city disguised as civilians.

However, EU countries and the US have criticized Israel's intentions and accused the country of violating international law.

Earlier, the US suspended the supply of bombs to Israel over concerns that they would lead to the deaths of civilians.

The US does not support the IDF military operation in Rafah without a clear program to protect the civilian population.