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Palestinian death toll in Gaza rises to 34,356 amid Israel’s Rafah operation concerns


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Gaza: The Palestinian death toll in the Gaza Strip from ongoing Israeli attacks has risen to 34,356, the Hamas-run Health Ministry said on Friday.

In a press statement, the ministry said that the Israeli army killed 51 Palestinians and wounded 75 others during the past 24 hours, bringing the total death toll to 34,356 and injuries to 77,368 since the Israel-Hamas conflict broke out on Oct. 7, 2023.

The statement mentioned that some victims are still under the rubble and on the roads, with the Israeli army preventing ambulance and civil defense crews from reaching them.

Meanwhile, Israeli officials expressed concern that a potential ground operation in Gaza’s Rafah could lead to international legal actions against Israel.

Israeli public Kan radio reported that Israel is preparing for another threat from the International Criminal Court in The Hague, with fears of arrest warrants being issued against senior Israeli officials.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has approved the plan for the ground operation in Rafah but has not allowed the army to move yet, according to Israeli media.

In addition, Kan radio reported that Israel is expected to begin evacuating civilians from Rafah “soon” before the planned attack on the southernmost Gazan city, following a meeting of the Israeli wartime cabinet on Thursday.

According to the report, Halevi presented attack plans to members of the wartime cabinet and said that the ground forces were ready to move in once the order was given.

Rafah has become the last refuge for more than 1.4 million Palestinians after they were displaced from the northern and central parts of the strip amid the ongoing war between Hamas and Israel for more than six months.

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