Gaza war: Israel storms into central Rafah, turns a deaf ear to international outcry – WION

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The Israeli military on Friday (May 31) said that its military forces have moved towards central Rafah and are now pushing deeper into the southern Gaza city amid international backlash and constant pressure from allies to pull back the offensive.

Israeli commandoes with artillery and tanks are stationed in central Rafah, said the Israeli military, in a statement. The IDF further confirmed that the Israeli military is in central Rafah, which is clearly seen as defiance of international pressure.

The Israeli military had on Wednesday (May 29) said that it had established “operational control” over the border zone with Egypt, called the Philadelphi Corridor.

Here’s a look at the latest updates:

1) Spain rejected the “restrictions” which were to be imposed on the activities of its consulate in Jerusalem by Israel after Madrid recognised a Palestinian state, said Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares. “This morning we sent a ‘note verbale’ to the Israeli government in which we reject any restriction on the normal activity of the Spanish consulate general in Jerusalem, as its status is guaranteed by international law. This status cannot therefore be changed unilaterally by Israel,” he said, adding Madrid had asked Israel “to reverse this decision,” he said.


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2) Israeli hostage negotiating team’s member called Hamas’ stance, of negotiating only if the operations in the Gaza Strip end, as “delusional”. “It won’t happen. Israel is fighting in Gaza, it will continue to fight in Gaza with all its strength, and if they want a truce for the benefit of Gaza’s residents it must only be through negotiating the release of hostages,” the official said.

3) Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah group’s rescuers said that a medic was killed and another suffered injuries in an Israeli strike in south Lebanon. “An Israeli drone strike targeted an ambulance… One rescuer was martyred and another wounded” in the border town of Naqura, stated the Hezbollah-affiliated Islamic Health Committee, while speaking to AFP.

4) US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the humanitarian situation is still dire in Gaza, especially in terms of aid distribution to civilians. “Rafah remains closed and that’s a real problem,” said Blinken, in a press conference in Prague. 

5) UN Palestinian refugee agency chief Philippe Lazzarini wrote in an opinion article that Israel “must stop its campaign against UNRWA”. The article was published by the New York Times. “The war in Gaza has produced a blatant disregard for the mission of the United Nations, including outrageous attacks on (UNRWA) employees, facilities and operations,” said agency chief Lazzarini. He added, “These attacks must stop and the world must act to hold the perpetrators accountable.”

6) The health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza announced that till now at least 36,284 people have lost their lives in the territory in more than seven months of the Gaza war. 

Disclaimer: WION takes utmost care to accurately and responsibly report ongoing developments on the Israel-Palestine conflict after the Hamas attacks. However, we cannot independently verify the authenticity of all statements, photos and videos.

(With inputs from agencies)



Prisha is a digital journalist at WION and she majorly covers international politics. She loves to dive into features and explore different cultures and histories


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