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The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have amassed enough troops outside of Rafah to run a full ground operation, according to two senior U.S. administration officials, as reported by CNN. As of this morning in Rafah, Reuters reports a resident saying: “The tanks advanced this morning west of Salahuddin Road into the Brazil and Ineina neighborhoods. They are in the streets inside the built-up area and there are clashes.” The IDF said that they eliminated several armed cells in close-quarter fighting on the Gazan side of the Rafah Border Crossing, and that they destroyed other cells of gunmen in the eastern part of Rafah. The UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees reports that 450,000 refugees have taken to the road yet again, fleeing Rafah. That would leave an estimated 950,000 refugees still in Rafah.

Another employee of the UN was killed by Israeli fire today. This one, the 190th, was the first non-Palestinian UN employee to be killed. The IDF admits that it has received reports of two UN Dept of Safety and Security personnel who were hit while driving in the Rafah area. The UN says that they were driving to the European Hospital and that one staffer was killed. Photos of the UN vehicle show multiple bullet holes. The IDF stated: “An initial inquiry conducted indicates that the vehicle was hit in an area declared an active combat zone” and that they had “not been made aware of the route of the vehicle. The incident is under review.” The statement certainly did not limit what was considered “an active combat zone.”

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