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Nearly 350,000 evacuate Rafah as Palestinian Authority reportedly refuses to control border crossing

An invasion of Rafah has been looming for months.

Published: May 13, 2024 10:21am

Nearly 360,000 people have evacuated the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, the United Nations said Monday, as the Palestinian Authority, the government body that controls portions of the West Bank, has reportedly refused an Israeli offer to control the Rafah Border Crossing into Egypt.

The Israel Defense Forces are pushing into Rafah, which officials say is the last stronghold of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, as the rest of the country on Monday observes the somber holiday of Memorial Day. Meanwhile, the IDF said that its air force "attacked more than 120 terrorist targets in the last day." 

An invasion of Rafah has been looming for months, and since Israel ordered 100,000 civilians to evacuate the city last week, nearly 360,000 have fled, per the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees.

After Israel seized the Rafah Border Crossing last week, the United States is pressuring the country to reopen the crossing and give control over it to the Palestinian Authority, per Sky News Arabia

The Palestinian Authority told Israel it would not control the crossing under Israel's military rule, nor would it take over Gaza in parts, a Palestinian official said.

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