On Monday, Israeli strikes on the southern Gaza city of Rafah killed 22 people and wounded dozens, according to local health officials. The bombing caused widespread panic among residents, with many fearing that Israel had begun its ground offensive into Rafah.
After the attacks, U.S. President Joe Biden spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and urged him not to launch a military operation in Rafah without a credible plan to protect civilians. Previous Israeli military operations in Gaza cities have seen civilians left without any specific evacuation plans or warning time.
Biden expressed grave concern over the rising civilian death toll in Gaza and urged Israel to be mindful of the human cost of its actions. He also warned Hamas militants that any ground offensive by Israel would not be tolerated and could lead to devastating consequences for civilians in Gaza.
The Israeli military did not provide further details about the strikes on Rafah, but it has previously been accused of committing war crimes against Palestinians during its military operations in Gaza. The international community has called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and for both sides to respect human rights and international law.