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Israeli forces attack Hamas’ last bastion

1 min

Israeli forces advanced further on Sunday into the Shejaia neighbourhood of northern Gaza and also pushed deeper into western and central Rafah in the south, killing at least six Palestinians and destroying several homes, residents said.

In Rafah, near the border with Egypt, Israeli tanks pushed deeper into several districts in the east, west and centre of the city , Amir Cohen/Retuers

Israeli forces advanced further on Sunday into the Shejaia neighbourhood of northern Gaza and also pushed deeper into western and central Rafah in the south, killing at least six Palestinians and destroying several homes, residents said.

Israeli tanks, which moved back into Shejaia four days ago, fired shells towards several houses, leaving families trapped inside and unable to leave, the residents said.

Speaking at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeated his position that there was no substitute for achieving victory in the war against Hamas.

"Our forces are operating in Rafah, Shejaia, everywhere in the Gaza Strip. Dozens of terrorists are being eliminated every day. This is a difficult fight that is being waged above ground, sometimes in hand-to-hand combat, and below ground as well," Netanyahu said.

"We are committed to fighting until we achieve all of our objectives: Eliminating Hamas, returning all of our hostages, ensuring that Gaza never again constitutes a threat to Israel and returning our residents securely to their homes in the south and the north," he added.

The Israeli military said forces operating in Shejaia had over the past day killed several Palestinian gunmen. Israeli forces located military infrastructure inside a United Nations school and discovered dozens of weapons and "valuable intelligence documents", the military also said.

On Saturday the military announced the death of two Israeli soldiers in northern Gaza.

At another raid in Shejaia, the forces located a "terrorist war room" at a clinic, said the military, which again accused Hamas of "embedding itself in civilian structures for terror purposes".

In Rafah, near the border with Egypt, Israeli tanks pushed deeper into several districts in the east, west and centre of the city.

Israel has said its military operations in Rafah are aimed at eradicating the last armed battalions of Hamas.

The Israeli military said on Sunday its forces continued "targeted, intelligence-based" operations in Rafah, killing several gunmen in different encounters and dismantling tunnels.

By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Kamel Hamdan

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