More than 70 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli air raids on southern Gaza, where Israel previously ordered civilians to seek refuge ahead of a looming ground offensive, according to officials in the besieged enclave.
The attacks early on Tuesday hit homes west and southeast of Khan Younis and west of Rafah, according to local reports.
People with dual citizenship who have gathered in recent days awaiting the opening of the Rafah crossing bordering Egypt began approaching the area, but some said they were staying away due to the air attacks.
Egypt says the Rafah crossing, a vital artery before the fighting and now a key route for desperately needed supplies into the Israeli-besieged Palestinian enclave, has not been officially closed but has become inoperable due to the Israeli attacks on the Gaza side.
Israel began its intense bombardment of Gaza following a devastating assault by Hamas fighters on October 7.
Gaza’s 2.3 million residents have been left without power, pushing health and water services to the brink of collapse, with fuel for hospital generators running low. Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced.