Israeli strikes rock Rafah as US says offensive does not cross red line

Israeli bombardment rocked Gaza's far-southern Rafah on Wednesday, a day after Israeli tanks rolled into the centre of the city near the Egyptian border as the White House said that so far it had not seen Israel cross President Joe Biden's "red lines."

The army pushed on with its mission to defeat Hamas in the war raging since Oct. 7, despite a global outcry that intensified after a deadly strike set ablaze a crowded camp on Sunday night.

The U.N. Security Council was set to meet for a second day of emergency talks in New York after that night's strike sparked a raging fire that Gaza officials said killed 45 people and wounded about 250.

U.N. chief Antonio Guterres was among the many leaders to voice his revulsion at the deaths and carnage, demanding that "this horror must stop".

But fighting again flared in Rafah, where an AFP reporter said street battles raged and an Israeli helicopter fired guns and missiles at targets in the city centre.

Hamas's military wing said it was firing rockets at Israeli troops.

"People are currently inside their homes because anyone who moves is being shot at by Israeli drones," said one Rafah resident, Abdel Khatib.

The United States has been among the countries urging Israel to refrain from a full-scale offensive into Rafah, the last Gaza city to see ground fighting, because of the risk to civilians.

But the White House said Tuesday that so far it had not seen Israel cross President Joe Biden's "red lines", with National Security Council spokesman John Kirby saying: "We have not seen them smash into Rafah.

"As a result of this strike on Sunday I have no policy changes to speak to," Kirby told a White House briefing. "It just happened, the Israelis are going to...

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