News   /   Palestine

Israel keeps bombing Rafah as truce talks resume in Cairo

The photo shows Israeli troops in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, May 8, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

Israel has bombarded the overcrowded southern city of Rafah in Gaza, where it has launched a ground incursion, as a new round of talks on ceasefire and prisoner swap kicks off in Cairo.

Israel struck a number of residential areas and civilian targets in Rafah on Wednesday after seizing the main border crossing with Egypt a day earlier.

Israeli artillery attacks hit several residential buildings in central Rafah, causing fires to break out. The artillery shelling hit central and eastern Rafah throughout the day.

Media footage showed Palestinians scrambling in the dark to pull survivors, bloodied and caked in dust, out from under the rubble of a building.

Israel sent tanks into Rafah on Tuesday and seized the nearby crossing into Egypt, which is the main corridor for aid into the besieged Palestinian territory.

In recent days, Israel has been ramping up attacks against Rafah. About 1.5 million Palestinians are taking shelter in the city.

Israel has vowed for weeks to launch a ground incursion into Rafah.

On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the hostilities in Gaza were escalating due to Israel’s incursion into Rafah.

“An additional destabilizing factor, including for the entire region, was the launch of an Israeli military ground operation in Rafah,” she told reporters.

Qatar has also called on the international community to prevent a “genocide” in Rafah following Israel’s seizure of the city’s crossing with Egypt. Doha appealed “for urgent international action to prevent the city from being invaded and a crime of genocide being committed.”

The African Union has also condemned the Israeli military’s moves in Rafah.

AU Commission chief Moussa Faki Mahamat “expresses his extreme concern at the war undertaken by Israel in Gaza which results, at every moment, in massive deaths and systematic destruction of the conditions of human life,” a statement said.

In Washington, a senior US official recently revealed the White House had paused a shipment of bombs after Israel failed to address US concerns over its Rafah plans.

Meanwhile, a new round of negotiations on a potential ceasefire has kicked off in the Egyptian capital with Israel and the resistance movement Hamas in attendance. Representatives from Hamas, Israel, Egypt, Qatar and the United States are participating in the Cairo talks.

Hamas has already agreed to the proposed truce deal put forward by the Qatari and Egyptian mediators. The proposal includes a three-stage truce, each lasting 42 days.

The potential deal would allow a prisoner swap, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, the return of displaced Palestinians, a permanent ceasefire and reconstruction of Gaza.

Israel, however, has rejected the proposal. 

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku