June 24, 2024

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Israel faces wave of condemnation over strike on Rafah camp

2 min read

Israel faced widespread international condemnation on Monday after an Israeli air strike killed dozens of Palestinians in a camp for displaced civilians in Rafah.

Palestinian officials said at least 45 people had been killed and more than 200 injured after fires and explosions triggered by the strike ripped through the crowded tent city in Rafah’s Tal as-Sultan neighbourhood, which housed people who had fled fighting elsewhere in Gaza.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the deaths a “tragic accident” and the Israeli military prosecutor ordered an investigation into the strike, saying the country regretted “any harm to uninvolved civilians”.

Earlier, the Israeli military said its strike had targeted a “Hamas compound” in the Rafah area and that two senior militants had been killed.

However, the Palestinian deaths — two days after the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to “immediately halt” its offensive in the southern Gaza city — sparked a wave of international criticism.

Emmanuel Macron, president of France, said he was “outraged by the Israeli strikes that have killed many displaced persons in Rafah”.

“These operations must stop. There are no safe areas in Rafah for Palestinian civilians. I call for full respect for international law and an immediate ceasefire,” he wrote on X.

Italy’s defence minister Guido Crosetto said “the Palestinian people are being squeezed without regard for the rights of innocent men, women and children who have nothing to do with Hamas”. He added: “This can no longer be justified.”

A spokesperson for the US National Security Council said “devastating images” following the Israeli strike in Rafah were “heartbreaking”.

They added Israel had the right to “go after Hamas”, but “must take every precaution possible to protect civilians”.

Mélanie Joly, Canada’s foreign minister, said on X: “We are horrified by strikes that killed Palestinian civilians in…

2024-05-27 13:39:53

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