Wednesday 8 May 2024

An Israeli full-scale attack on Rafah in southern Gaza is imminent

7 May 2024

Unconfirmed video

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At present it is estimated that 1.5 million displaced Palestinian civilians - men, women & children - are sheltering in the southern Gaza city of Rafah and environs

Financial Review, 7 May 2024:

Jerusalem | Hamas announced on Monday (Tuesday AEST) it has accepted a ceasefire proposal, but Israel said the deal did not meet its “core demands” and it was pushing ahead with an assault on the southern Gaza town of Rafah.

Al Jazeera, 7 May 2024:

Israeli tanks have taken over the Rafah crossing in Gaza’s border with Egypt after advancing during the night as their warplanes pounded residential homes, killing at least 12 people.


The Guardian, 7 May 2024: (approx. AEST 1:00am)

Thousands of people are evacuating from Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost city, hours after the Israeli military told residents and displaced people in eastern neighbourhoods to leave in advance of a long-threatened attack on the city and its environs. Witnesses described frightened families leaving the city on foot, riding donkeys or packed with their belongings into overloaded trucks on Monday. Overnight Israeli airstrikes had reinforced “panic and fear”, prompting more to heed the instructions to move.

al Mawasi camp in April 2024
The Guardian

It is reported that the IDF has ordered est. 100,000 of those displaced persons in an eastern section of Rafah to move to al Mawasi, where there is a makeshift camp on the coast. About 450,000 displaced Palestinians are said to already be sheltering there.

The al Mawsi area has been subject to IDF attack and what infrastructure there is damaged and the camp unable to support a further influx of people according to United Nations sources.

Al Jazeera, 7 May 2024 (AEST 8:40pm):

Suhaib al-Hamas, the director of Rafah’s Kuwaiti Hospital, has said the facility is teeming with dozens of wounded patients as Israel’s military operation intensifies in the city, reports the Wafa news agency. The hospital is receiving more patients than usual since the city’s main public health facility, al-Najjar, is now located within the Israeli military’s red zone and unable to take them in.

CNN, 8 May 2024 (approx. AEST 3:15am):

Israeli strikes in eastern Rafah today. AFP - Getty Images

The Guardian, 8 May 2024 (AEST 3:49am):

An intensification of the operation should be unthinkable: it would vastly increase the disaster. Many of those now in Rafah were forced to flee from other parts of Gaza. Ordering evacuation is pointless when there is nowhere safe to go. Unicef says 600,000 children are in the city. According to Gaza’s health authorities, 14,000 minors have already been killed, along with 6,000 mothers: there are 19,000 new war orphans.

Media and other reports suggest that up to 1,000 Australian citizens have journeyed to the State of Israel since 7 October 2023 in order to serve in the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) during its War on Gaza - as dual Australian-Israeli citizen IDF reservists or as non-dual citizens in the IDF Mahal volunteer force.


ABC News, 9 May 2024:

Since the start of the seven-month Israel-Hamas conflict, powerful US-supplied 2,000-pound bombs have been used in bombardments on Gaza's heavily populated cities. 

Now, for the first time, US President Joe Biden has acknowledged that the bombs, which military experts say turn "earth into liquid", have killed civilians in Gaza. 

And the US will be delaying a shipment of thousands of bombs over concerns about Israel's invasion of the southern city of Rafah.

"Civilians have been killed in Gaza as a consequence of those bombs and other ways in which they go after population centres," Mr Biden told CNN. 

"I made it clear that if they go into Rafah ... we're not going to supply the weapons and artillery shells used." 

Analysts say it's a "powerful symbolic move" from the Biden administration. 

But, it's unlikely to have an impact on the conflict overall, or Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's planned assault on Rafah.... 

Washington has paused one shipment consisting of 1,800 MK84 2,000-pound bombs, and 1,700 500-pound bombs, according to US officials. These are the 2,000-pound bombs the US is reportedly sending Israel The US has in recent days reportedly green-lit the transfer of billions of dollars' worth of bombs and fighter jets to Israel. 

Four sources said the shipment, which has been delayed for at least two weeks, involved Boeing-made Joint Direct Attack Munitions, which convert dumb bombs into precision-guided ones, as well as Small Diameter Bombs...

The blast of an MK84 bomb is so immense "it turns earth into liquid", Marc Garlasco, a former Pentagon official and a war crimes investigator for the United Nations told the Associated Press last month. 

"It pancakes entire buildings," he said. 

He added an explosion in the open meant "instant death" for anyone within about 30 metres. 

Lethal fragmentation can extend for up to 365m. 

SBS News, 10 May 2024:


  • Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said Israelis will fight with only their fingernails, if they must ["But we have much more than our fingernails"].

  • Ceasefire talks make some headway, but no deal, Egyptian security sources said.

  • Israeli officials said operation in Rafah to proceed as planned.

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