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What we know about Israel’s military operation in Gaza’s Rafah

The Israeli army announced that it had "eliminated about 20 terrorists" of Hamas since the launch of the operation

MOSCOW, May 7. /TASS/. The Israeli army announced that it had launched a military operation in the southern Gazan town of Rafah and taken control of the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt.

The Israeli military entered eastern Rafah and blocked residents and humanitarian aid from moving through the border crossing.

TASS has gathered key facts about the Rafah situation as of now.

Rafah situation

- On May 6, the Israeli army announced that it had started preparations for the evacuation of Palestinians from Rafah, urging residents of the town’s eastern quarters to move to an expanded humanitarian area in al-Mawasi and Khan Younis.

- The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the country’s war cabinet had unanimously made a decision on pressing ahead with the Rafah operation.

- The Times of Israel reported on May 7 that the Israeli army’s armored units had entered Rafah early in the morning.

- The Israeli army announced that it had delivered "pinpoint strikes" against targets in the town’s eastern part and destroyed "Hamas terrorist sites in the Rafah area, including military facilities and the underground infrastructure."

"According to data of the Al Mayadeen television channel, Israeli troops and heavy armor entered the Rafah border crossing on the Palestinian side. The border crossing ceased to operate and the passage of vehicles with passengers and humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip was halted.

- The Israeli army’s press office later reported that Israel’s military had taken control of the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing.


- At least eight Palestinians were killed in Israeli airstrikes on a residential area in Rafah, Sky News Arabia television channel said on its X social network account.

- The Qatari-based television channel Al Jazeera said there were reports about several people killed and wounded in the bombing of a residential building in the al-Tanour neighborhood east of Rafah and five other people killed in the western part of the town.

- The Israeli army announced that it had "eliminated about 20 terrorists" of Hamas since the launch of the operation.

World’s reaction

- UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said he was deeply concerned over Israel’s military operation in Rafah.

- The United States cannot support an operation in Rafah as it is currently envisioned by Israel, US Department of State Spokesperson Matthew Miller said.

- France’s Foreign Ministry said the country did not agree with Israel’s decision on the launch of an offensive in Rafah, adding that forced displacement of a civilian population constituted a war crime.

- The evacuation of civilians from Rafah is unacceptable and Israel must give up its ground offensive, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell wrote on the X social network.

- The Chinese Foreign Ministry said that China’s leader Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron came up with a joint statement against the Israeli army’s offensive on the town of Rafah in the Gaza Strip.