The death toll due to the relentless Israeli occupation's aggression on various areas across the Gaza Strip since Saturday morning has risen to 51, most of them children and women, along with dozens of injuries.
Additionally, 24 Palestinians were martyred, among them children and women after the Israeli occupation carried out airstrikes on three homes in the cities of Deir Al-Balah and Rafah in the central Gaza Strip with another Palestinian succumbing to death after he was shot by a sniper in Nasser district in western Gaza, according to Palestinian News and Info Agency (Wafa).
Also, 26 Palestinians were martyred, and dozens injured because of the Israeli occupation's bombing of two populated homes in Rafah city on Saturday early morning.
The Israeli occupation forces arrested dozens of Palestinians from Tel Al-Hawa neighborhood in the southwestern part of Gaza City and forced other Palestinians to evacuate their homes and move to Deir Al-Balah, while the industrial and university areas west of Gaza City came under fierce bombardments from air and land.
The Israeli occupation forces so far committed 12 massacres against the Palestinian families which claimed the lives of 107 martyrs and 165 wounded during the past 24 hours raising the toll of the persistent Israeli aggression on Gaza since October 7 to 27,238 martyrs and 66,452 injuries, with thousands of martyrs and wounded still underneath the rubble , with the occupation forces preventing ambulance and civil defence personnel from reaching out to them to retrieve the bodies.
Israel pressed its blistering assault in the Gaza Strip as fears grew over a push into Rafah, the southern city teeming with civilians uprooted by the nearly four-month war.
A barrage of air strikes and tank fire rocked Khan Younis overnight and through the day.
Hundreds of thousands of Gaza's 2.4mn people displaced by the fierce fighting have fled south to Rafah since the outbreak of the war, with their tents crammed along streets and in parks.
The city that had been home to 200,000 people now hosts more than half of Gaza's population, the United Nations said.
Civilians who fled to Rafah have been pushed up against the border with Egypt, trying to avoid parts of the city exposed to the fighting in nearby Khan Younis.
Hamas remained defiant, with an official from the Palestinian group that has ruled Gaza since 2007 saying it was "holding its ground" in Khan Yunis.
Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant had warned on Thursday that the military was set to train its sights on Rafah.
Israel has lost 224 soldiers since starting its Gaza ground operations in late October, according to the army.
The fighting has devastated the narrow coastal strip, while an Israeli siege has resulted in dire shortages of food, water, fuel and medicines.
The soaring civilian death toll in Gaza, as well as fears among Israelis over the fate of the hostages, have fuelled calls for a ceasefire.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to the Middle East yet again in the coming days to press a new proposal involving the release of Israeli hostages in return for a pause in the fighting, the State Department said.
Blinken will visit Qatar and Egypt -- the mediators of the proposal -- as well as Israel, the occupied West Bank and Saudi Arabia starting Sunday, it added.
The war has sparked a surge in attacks by Iran-backed groups in the region in support of the Palestinians.
In Lebanon, meanwhile, the Israeli army said its warplanes struck targets of the Iran-backed Hezbollah group.
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