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Israel hits Gaza's Rafah; Hamas chief's trip raises truce hopes

22/2/2024 18:47
        Israeli bombs on Rafah flattened a mosque and destroyed homes in what residents called one of their worst nights yet, while the Hamas chief was in Cairo for talks Gazans hope could bring a truce in time to head off a full-blown assault on the city.
        
        Mourners wailed over at least seven corpses in body bags, laid out on cobbles outside a morgue in the city hard against the Egyptian border, where over half of the Palestinian enclave's 2.3 million people are now huddling, mostly in tents.
        
        Gaza health authorities said 97 people were confirmed killed and 130 wounded in the last 24 hours of Israeli assaults, but most victims were still under rubble or in areas rescuers could not reach.
        
        The al-Farouk mosque in the centre of Rafah was flattened into slabs of concrete, the facades of adjacent buildings blasted away. Authorities said four houses had been struck in the south of the city and three in the centre.
        
        Residents said the bombing was the heaviest since an Israeli raid on the city ten days ago that freed two hostages and killed scores of civilians.
        



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