The health authorities of the coastal enclave denounced that the Israeli air force launched on Sunday night and early Monday morning intense bombardments against the city, where 1.4 million people, most of them displaced by the aggression, are taking refuge.
The air campaign was aimed at providing cover for the ground troops advancing into the city, justified Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Daniel Hagari, who announced the release of Fernando Simon Marman and Norberto Louis Har.
An estimated 130 Israelis are still being held captive by Palestinian militias in the territory (although Israel estimates that 29 were killed) pending an agreement on a prisoner exchange.
At least 63 Palestinians reported killed in Israeli air attacks that Israel's military said were providing cover for an operation to rescue two captives being held in Gaza's Rafah ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/PLzGTLleqT
Hagari acknowledged that during the raid on the Shabura neighborhood there was "intense firepower from the air. The Air Force attacked intensively there."
In its first response to the attack, the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) accused the IDF of executing a massacre in Rafah and blamed the U.S. for giving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the green light.
Meanwhile, reporters on the ground for Al Jazeera television reported that at least 63 people were killed in Israeli bombardments against two mosques in Rafah.
The official Wafa news agency also denounced more than 40 air raids at night and early this morning against homes and mosques located in the center of the city.
According to official data, more than 28,170 Palestinians have been killed and almost 68,000 injured in the coastal enclave since the beginning of the new cycle of violence on October 7.