Tags: israel | iran | hamas | tent | compund | khan younis | rafah

Tent Compound Rises in Southern Gaza as Israel Prepares for Rafah Op

By    |   Tuesday, 23 April 2024 07:48 AM EDT

Satellite photos that have emerged appear to show a new compound of tents being built near Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip as the Israeli military continues to signal it plans an offensive targeting the city of Rafah, The Associated Press reported.

The tent construction is near Khan Younis, which has been targeted by repeated Israeli military operations over recent weeks. Israel has said it plans to evacuate civilians from Rafah during an anticipated offensive on the southern city, where hundreds of thousands of people have taken refuge during the war, now in its seventh month.

Images from Planet Labs PBC analyzed by the AP show the tent compound starting to be fully under construction on April 16 just west of Khan Younis. Images taken Sunday show the tent compound in the time since has grown.

The Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz, without attributing the information, said that Egypt was constructing the tent compound ahead of a possible Rafah offensive.

The Israeli military did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday about the tents. However, their construction comes as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has threatened “additional painful blows” targeting Hamas over the breakdown of talks over trying to free the remaining hostages held in the Gaza Strip.

That could include the long-threatened attack on Rafah, where half of the Gaza Strip’s 2.3 million people have fled amid the war. The U.S., Israel’s main ally, has repeatedly said any military operation needs to protect civilians.

Netanyahu has said he would order to military to evacuate civilians from Rafah for the offensive, but it is not clear where they could go.

On Monday, a failed rocket strike was launched at a base housing U.S.-led coalition forces at Rumalyn, Syria, marking the first time since Feb. 4 that Iranian-backed militias have attacked a U.S. facility in Iraq or Syria, a U.S. defense official said. No personnel were injured in the attack, and no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The conflict has sparked regional unrest pitting Israel and the U.S. against Iran and allied militant groups across the Middle East. Israel and Iran traded fire directly this month, raising fears of all-out war.

The war was sparked by the unprecedented Oct. 7 raid into southern Israel in which Hamas and other militants killed around 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and abducted around 250 hostages. Israel says militants are still holding around 100 hostages and the remains of more than 30 others.

The Israel-Hamas war has killed more than 34,000 Palestinians, according to local health officials, at least two-thirds of them children and women. It has devastated Gaza’s two largest cities and left a swath of destruction. Around 80% of the territory’s population have fled to other parts of the besieged coastal enclave.

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a $26 billion aid package on Saturday that includes around $9 billion in humanitarian assistance for Gaza, which experts say is on the brink of famine, as well as billions for Israel. The U.S. Senate could pass the package as soon as Tuesday, and President Joe Biden has promised to sign it immediately.

 The Associated Press contributed to this report.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Satellite photos that have emerged appear to show a new compound of tents being built near Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip as the Israeli military continues to signal it plans an offensive targeting the city of Rafah, The Associated Press reported. The tent construction is...
israel, iran, hamas, tent, compund, khan younis, rafah
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2024-48-23
Tuesday, 23 April 2024 07:48 AM
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