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Israel Pushes Into Rafah as Displaced Palestinians Search for Safety

Israel’s military said it was pressing on with its ground assault in the southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday despite mounting international outrage over its operations there, including an airstrike over the weekend that killed dozens of civilians.

The military said its troops were engaging in close-quarters combat with Hamas fighters and that it had deployed an additional “combat team” to Rafah, without specifying how many more soldiers were sent to the southern city.

The military has said that its strike on Rafah on Sunday — which ignited a deadly fire that killed at least 45 people — targeted a Hamas compound.

On Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said it was a “tragic accident” that civilians in the camp, many of them displaced from other parts of Gaza, had been killed.

His comments, however, did little to quell a chorus of voices demanding accountability and a halt to the fighting, which came amid reports of another deadly strike in nearby Al-Mawasi on Tuesday.

An official in Gaza, Dr. Mohammed Al Moghayer of the Palestinian Civil Defense, said that at least 21 people were killed and dozens injured on Tuesday when strikes hit tents housing displaced people in Al-Mawasi, not far from the city of Rafah. Israel has declared an area of Al-Mawasi a humanitarian safe zone. Tuesday’s strike appeared to occur near the humanitarian zone but not in it, according to videos verified by The New York Times.

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