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Israel Sending More Troops to Rafah Amid Warnings of Famine in Gaza

Israel said on Thursday that it would send more troops to Rafah, the southernmost city in Gaza, which has become the focal point in the war between Israel and Hamas.

The announcement signaled that Israel intends to press deeper into Rafah despite international concerns about the threat to civilians from a full-scale invasion of the city, where more than a million displaced people had been sheltering.

“Hundreds of targets have already been attacked,” Yoav Gallant, Israel’s defense minister, said after meeting with commanders in the Rafah area. “This operation will continue.”

For the past week Israel has described its offensive as a limited military operation, but satellite imagery and Mr. Gallant’s comments on Thursday suggested that a more significant incursion was already underway.

Rafah is the most important logistics hub in the Gaza Strip, the crucial gateway for most of the food, medicine and other aid that has entered the enclave of 2.2 million people. The fighting has led to the closure of a border crossing between Rafah and Egypt and, for a time, greatly reduced traffic at one between Rafah and Israel at Kerem Shalom.

“The threat of famine in Gaza never loomed larger,” the United Nations’ World Food Program warned this week.

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