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Israel says Gaza war likely to last another seven months as tanks probe Rafah

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Israel sent tanks on raids into Rafah on Wednesday and predicted its war on Hamas in Gaza would continue all year, after Washington said the Rafah assault did not amount to a major ground operation that would trigger a change in U.S. policy.

Israeli tanks moved into the heart of Rafah for the first time on Tuesday, despite an order from the International Court of Justice to end its attacks on the city, where many Palestinians had taken refuge from bombardment elsewhere.

The World Court said Israel had not explained how it would keep evacuees from Rafah safe and provide food, water and medicine. Its ruling also called on Hamas to release hostages taken from Israel on Oct. 7 immediately and unconditionally.

Rafah residents said Israeli tanks had pushed into Tel Al-Sultan in the west and Yibna and near Shaboura in the centre before retreating towards a buffer zone on the border with Egypt, rather than staying put as they have in other offensives. (Reuters)

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