20 July 2024,   04:42
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Hamas said its fighters were battling Israeli troops on the streets in the city, near the besieged Gaza Strip’s border with Egypt

Israeli helicopters struck Gaza’s Rafah on Thursday, residents said, with Hamas fighters reporting street battles in the southern city after top US diplomat Antony Blinken said a truce was still possible, writes The Jordan Times.

But the war raged on, and tensions soared on Israel’s northern border with more attacks by Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hizbollah forces targeting military positions.

Israel, which has traded near-daily fire with Hamas ally Hizbollah since the start of the Gaza war, said it would respond “with force”.

Israeli ground forces have been operating in Rafah since early May, despite widespread alarm over the fate of Palestinian civilians there, including in a ruling by the International Court of Justice later that month.

Western areas of Rafah came under heavy fire on Thursday from the air, sea and land, residents said.

“There was very intense fire from warplanes, Apaches [helicopters] and quadcopters, in addition to Israeli artillery and military battle ships, all of which were striking the area west of Rafah”, one told AFP.

Hamas said its fighters were battling Israeli troops on the streets in the city, near the besieged Gaza Strip’s border with Egypt.

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