The Israeli army has been taking a “daily tactical pause”, a period in which humanitarian aid must be allowed to enter the Gaza Strip. The 11-hour period, between 8am and 7pm, began on Monday (17th), but despite this almost half-day truce, the attacks intensified in Rafah, in the south of the enclave, and killed 17 Palestinians.

Medical teams in Gaza believe the number could be higher, but it is not yet possible to confirm more deaths because many areas are inaccessible.

read more: Protesters block highways in Israel in protest against Netanyahu

The airstrikes hit two refugee camps in the city, Al-Nuseirat and Al-Bureij, and allowed ground troops to advance. More than a million people were taking refuge in Rafah before the army targeted its forces there. Now refugees are trying to go to northern Gaza.

Reports show that the military advanced to the west and center of Rafah, with advances also in the occupation in the East, where the border with Egypt is located – a vital crossing for the entry of aid.

To news agencies, residents speak of indiscriminate destruction of the refugee camp.

International pressure

The increase in attacks comes against a backdrop of uncertainty in which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dissolved the War Cabinet amid pressure for a ceasefire. The previous week, the UN Security Council had approved a resolution calling for the cessation of hostilities.

On Monday (17), Israeli protesters took to the streets of Israel and blocked important highways and intersections across the country, lighting fires and erecting barricades in acts of discontent. The scenario is one of deep dissatisfaction and popular mobilization against the government.


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