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Israel air strikes on refugee camp in Rafah

Israeli air strikes on a camp for displaced Palestinians in Rafah killed at least 45 Palestinians and wounded 249 others in an area in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah designated for the displaced, Palestinian health and civil emergency service officials said. The Israeli military said its air force struck a Hamas compound in Rafah and took out one of the group’s leaders.

Posting on X (formerly Twitter) the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) said ‘Gaza is hell on earth’:

Information coming out of #Rafah about further attacks on families seeking shelter is horrifying. There are reports of mass causalities including children and women among those killed. Gaza is hell on earth. Images from last night are yet another testament to that.

UNRWA continued: “We do not have an established communications line with our colleagues on the ground. No place is safe. No one is safe.”

The airstrike by the Israelis was reported hours after Hamas fired a barrage of rockets from Gaza that set off air raid sirens as far away as Tel Aviv for the first time in months, in a show of defiance more than seven months into Israel’s massive air, sea, and ground offensive.

The Israeli military said eight projectiles crossed into Israel and ‘a number’ of them were intercepted with Israeli Defence Forces saying, “While we facilitate aid to the Rafah area, Hamas fires rockets toward Israeli cities and continues to systematically exploit civilian areas.”

In a speech at the Israeli Knesset on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said “Despite our best effort, not to harm those not involved, unfortunately, a tragic mistake happened last night. We are investigating the case.”

Meanwhile, the United Nation’s High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk has decried Israel’s “horrific” strike on a camp housing displaced people in Rafah on Sunday.

He continued in a statement:

Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) said that the strike had targeted senior ‘Hamas officials’, and that they were aware of reports that civilians had been harmed in the resulting fires.I note that the IDF has announced a review, but what is shockingly clear is that by striking such an area, densely packed with civilians, this was an entirely predictable outcome. It is crucial that such reviews lead to accountability and changes in policy and practices.

Meanwhile, The White House National Security Council spokesperson condemned Israel’s disproportionate and indiscriminate response to the rockets launched by Hamas, telling reporters: “Israel has a right to go after Hamas… but as we’ve been clear, Israel must take every precaution possible to protect civilians. We are actively engaging the IDF and partners on the ground to assess what happened”

Article: Israel air strikes on refugee camp in Rafah kill at least 45, wound 249 others

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