Israel says killed 300 militants in Rafah assault

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Israel said Thursday its army had killed about 300 Palestinian militants in Rafah since beginning a military operation in the southern Gaza city this month.

“We have already eliminated around 300 terrorists in Rafah in this operation so far,” said government spokesman David Mencer.

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The military launched its Rafah incursion on May 7, despite international objections concerning the safety of Palestinian civilians sheltering in the city.

It said earlier that its forces had struck more than 50 targets across Gaza the previous day, and that troops found weapons, explosives and tunnel shafts in Rafah, and battled militants in Jabalia, in the north.

Before the Rafah offensive began, the United Nations said up to 1.4 million people were sheltering in the city.

Since then, one million have fled the area, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, has said.

The Gaza war was sparked by Hamas’s October 7 attack on southern Israel, which resulted in the deaths of 1,189 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

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Militants also took 252 hostages, 121 of whom remain in Gaza, including 37 the army says are dead.

Israel’s retaliatory offensive has killed at least 36,224 people in Gaza, mostly civilians, according to the territory’s health ministry.

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