Palestinian police say at least five officers were killed Saturday in separate Israeli airstrikes that struck Rafah, the southern Gaza city where an Israeli ground offensive is looming.
The reports come as Israel claims to have killed three Hamas militants, including two senior military operatives, in the city Saturday.
Hospital reports civilian casualties: Another Israeli airstrike in Rafah hit a house and killed at least 12 civilians, according to information provided to CNN by the Abu Yousuf Al-Najjar hospital in Gaza. More people are believed to still be caught under the rubble.
It is unknown if Israel’s reports on the Hamas operatives’ deaths are linked to those coming from Palestinian police and hospital officials.
More on the situation in Rafah: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has directed his military to evacuate more than a million people living in Rafah — many of them already displaced by Israel's offensive elsewhere in the enclave.
Netanyahu told Israel's war cabinet that he wants a ground offensive in Rafah completed by the start of Ramadan on March 10, an Israeli official told CNN on Saturday.
Palestinians in the crowded city have warned they have nowhere else to go.