70 pct of Rafah public facilities destroyed: Mayor

Israeli attacks have destroyed more than 70 percent of public facilities in Rafah in southern Gaza, the city's mayor has said.

"Over 70 percent of public facilities and infrastructure have been destroyed in the Israeli onslaught," Ahmed al-Soufi said late on June 20.

He said the Israeli army blew up dozens of homes in the Saudi neighborhood of western Rafah.

"Israel seeks to turn Gaza into an uninhabitable area by destroying the Rafah crossing and preventing the entry of humanitarian and relief aid," the mayor said, warning of a possible famine in the Palestinian enclave.

Meanwhile, Israeli tanks push deeper into western Rafah in south Gaza on June 21, with the army engaged in close-quarter combat with Hamas.

Residents said the Israelis appeared to by trying to complete their capture of Rafah, the city on the enclave's southern edge that has been the focus of an Israeli assault since early May.

The U.N.'s health organization on June 21 said that the "pause" that the Israeli military had declared in Gaza to facilitate aid flows has had no impact on deliveries of the badly-needed aid.

"So overall, we the UN can say that we did not see an impact on the humanitarian supplies coming in since that, I will say, unilateral announcement of this technical pause," said Richard Peeperkorn, the World Health Organization representative in the Palestinian territories.

'Only escape is buying wayout'


The New York Times reported that the only way for almost all people in Gaza to escape the war is by leaving through neighboring Egypt and buying a way out.

"And that is usually a complicated and expensive ordeal, involving the payment of thousands of dollars to an Egyptian company that can...

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