Violence in Gaza surges after Israel vows to intensify Rafah offensive

Fighting raged Friday in Gaza after Israel vowed to intensify its ground offensive in Rafah despite international concerns for the hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinians in the southern city.

With Gazans facing hunger, the U.S. military said "trucks carrying humanitarian assistance began moving ashore via a temporary pier" it set up to aid Palestinians in the besieged territory.

Witnesses reported fierce battles overnight in and around the Jabalia refugee camp in the north of the war-ravaged Gaza Strip.

Israeli helicopters carried out heavy strikes around Jabalia while army artillery hit homes near Kamal Adwan hospital in the camp, they said.

The bodies of six people were retrieved and several wounded people were evacuated after an air strike targeted a house in Jabalia, Gaza's Civil Defense agency said.

Rescue teams were trying to recover people from under the rubble of the Shaaban family home on Al-Faluja Street in the camp, it added.

Witnesses said Israeli warships launched strikes on Rafah, on the border with Egypt, where more than 1.4 million Palestinian civilians have been sheltering.

Hamas's armed wing, the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades, said in a statement that it "targeted enemy forces stationed inside the Rafah border crossing... with mortar shells".

The war broke out after the Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel which resulted in the deaths of more than 1,100 people, mostly civilians, according to Israeli official figures.

Out of 252 people taken hostage that day, 128 are still being held inside Gaza, including 38 who the army says are dead.

Israel vowed in response to crush Hamas and launched a military offensive on Gaza, where at least 35,303 people have been killed since the...

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