According to the Palestine Red Crescent Society, dozens of people, including children have been killed as “extremely intense: Israeli shelling and airstrikes across various locations in Rafah, as international alarm mounts over Israel’s planned ground offensive in the southern Gazan city.

More than 100 people were killed in the Israeli airstrikes as warplanes targeted dissimilar areas in the city, while the helicopters fired machine guns along the border areas.

According to reports, the Hamas-controlled health ministry in Gaza claimed to have lost 94 lives. The director of Abu Yousef Al-Najjar Hospital said medical facilities in Rafah “cannot handle the large number of injuries due to the Israeli occupation’s bombardment.”

The Rafah municipality said that atleast two mosques and dozens of homes were targeted in the strike.

In a joint statement, the Israel Defense Forces, Israel Security Agency Shin Bet, and Police identified the hostages as Fernando Simon Marman, 60, and Louis Har, 70, and said they were kidnapped by Hamas on October 7 from Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak.

“They are both in good medical condition and were transferred for medical examination at the Sheba Tel Hashomer hospital,” the statement said.

Hamas has condemned the Israeli military’s attack on Rafah, labeling it as part of a genocidal war and forced displacement efforts against the Palestinian people.

Over half of Gaza’s population, more than 1.3 million people, are seeking refuge in Rafah, with many displaced individuals from different parts of the besieged enclave crowded into a sprawling tent city.

Rafah has been experiencing aerial assaults from Israeli forces for months, however, the bombardment heightened the fears as they anticipate Israeli ground campaign will result in a blood bath.