Israeli strikes on southern Gaza kills 18 people, including 14 children

Israeli strikes on the southern Gaza city of Rafah overnight killed 18 people, mostly children, as U.S. lawmakers advanced an aid package that would send millions of dollars to Israel.

Officials at the Kuwaiti Hospital said the first Israeli strike killed a man, his wife, and their 3-year-old child, The Associated Press reported. The wife was pregnant, but doctors managed to save the baby, according to the news service.

A second Israeli strike killed 13 children and two women, the AP reported, citing hospital records. The AP noted that all who were killed in the second strike were members of the same family.

Gaza has been subjected to nearly daily Israeli strikes since Hamas launched its unprecedented attack on Israel on Oct. 7, 2023. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to eliminate the militant group as Israel continues to target the militants in Gaza.

President Biden has been warning Israel for months against invading Rafah, where more than 1 million civilians are estimated to be seeking refuge at Israel’s direction. He told Netanyahu in February that a Rafah invasion “should not proceed” without a plan.

Netanyahu said earlier this month that a date has been set for an invasion into Rafah.

More than 34,000 Palestinians have now died in the war, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry. Many world leaders and humanitarian aid groups have called for a ceasefire as those living in Gaza continue to face dire conditions.

The House approved a massive foreign aid package on Saturday after months of holdup in the lower chamber.

The package, which has now been sent to the Senate for approval, provides roughly $61 billion for Ukraine, $26 billion for Israel and humanitarian aid in Gaza and elsewhere, and $8 billion for Taiwan and other U.S. allies in the Indo-Pacific.

The Associated Press contributed.

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