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Israeli strikes kill 44 in southern Gaza city of Rafa ahead of expected ground invasion
10 February 2024, 20:23 | Updated: 10 February 2024, 21:01
More than a dozen children are reported to be among at least 44 people killed in air strikes in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.
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Israel says that it has killed two Hamas operatives there using the strikes.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has signalled a ground invasion in the city - where hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinians are sheltering after fleeing the initial assault on northern Gaza.
Yestrerday, Netanyahu ordered Israel's military to prepare for evacuating Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip ahead of an expected invasion.
Mr Netanyahu said he has created a dual plan to evacuate people from the city of Rafah and to defeat the remaining Hamas forces.
Rafah is the last neighbourhood, where more than half of the territory’s 2.3 million people have sought refuge.
A statement from the prime minister's office said on Firday: "It is impossible to achieve the war objective of eliminating Hamas and leaving four Hamas battalions in Rafah.
"On the other hand, it is clear that a massive operation in Rafah requires the evacuation of the civilian population from the combat zones."