A bloody Israeli bombardment of a displaced people’s camp in Rafah has been described as “brutal” amid international condemnation.


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The Hamas Health Ministry announced on Monday that 45 people were killed in an Israeli attack last night that targeted a shelter for displaced people in the city of Rafah, prompting international condemnation.

The Israeli military announced on Sunday that it had launched an investigation into the raid after it said it had targeted Hamas officials with “precision munitions”.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the strike as a “tragic incident” and noted that his government was “investigating it.”

The Israeli government confirmed it was trying to “limit civilian casualties”.

Internationally, the raid drew condemnation from the United Nations, the European Union, the African Union and France, as well as the United States, Egypt and Qatar. It has been going on for about eight months.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the Israeli attack on the town of Rafah, saying in a post on Platform X that “there is no safe place in Gaza.” “These atrocities must be put to an end.”

The United Nations condemned the “Israeli strikes” and called for a “comprehensive and transparent” investigation.

Washington also called on its ally Israel to “take all possible precautions to protect civilians”. A National Security Council spokesman said the “devastating images … are heartbreaking” after the raid “led to the deaths of dozens of innocent Palestinians”.

Since May 7, Israel has launched ground operations in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, despite the international community’s concerns for civilian lives.

– ‘Flood of wounded’ –

Sunday’s “Rafa Massacre” claimed “45 martyrs, including 23 women, children and the elderly, and 249 wounded,” according to the Hamas Health Ministry.

After the strike, the Palestinian Civil Defense reported several “charred” bodies as a result of a fire at a camp for displaced persons run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in northwest Rafah.

Muhammad al-Mukhair, director of the Civil Defense Supply and Equipment Department, told Agence France-Presse, “Rescue and rescue operations ended in the evening… We saw charred bodies and body parts, cases of severed limbs. Children, women and old people were injured.

Al-Muqeer added, “We are facing major challenges: lack of fuel, lack of water and the destruction of roads and infrastructure, which hinder the movement of civil defense vehicles in the target areas.”

A Palestinian woman, who declined to be named, said, “We have finished the evening prayer. Our children were sleeping… Suddenly we heard a loud noise and fire spread around us. The children screamed. The noise was terrible. “The pieces seemed to cross the rooms.”

“People were not injured or killed, they were burned,” said Muhammad Hamad (24 years old).

He added, “My cousin, a girl not more than 13 years old, was one of the martyrs and her features were unrecognizable as her face was smashed by fragments.”

The displaced man, Khalil al-Bahdini, was gathering his belongings to leave, saying, “Last night, they targeted the tent in front of us. We packed our things, but we don’t know where to go.”

In a video released by the Palestinian Red Cross, ambulances can be seen rushing to the site of the bomb, flames rising from it, and carrying the injured, including children.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said one of its field hospitals in Rafah had “received an influx of wounded and burn victims”, adding that “our teams are doing all they can to save lives”.

Pictures taken by Agence France-Presse crews in the early hours of the morning showed charred tents and the remains of vehicles, as well as families amid the debris left by the fire.

The night raids on Rafah came after sirens sounded in Tel Aviv and central Israel. The Israeli military said at least eight missiles were fired from Rafah in the direction of Tel Aviv, and its defenses intercepted several.

The Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas movement, announced that it had launched a “massive missile salvo” toward Tel Aviv.

– “A Challenge to the Judgment of the International Court of Justice” –

Hamas condemned it as a “terrible massacre”, with the Palestinian president accusing Israeli forces in a statement of “deliberately targeting displaced persons’ tents in Rafah”.

Hamas is classified as a terrorist organization by the European Union and the United States.

For his part, French President Emmanuel Macron condemned the Israeli strikes, while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed his country would “do everything” to hold “barbaric” Israeli officials accountable.

European Union foreign affairs official Joseph Borrell called the Israeli strike in Rafah “horrific” and stressed the need to implement the International Court of Justice ruling.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Dürk called on Palestinian factions to call for “images from the camp to be appalling and show no change in the methods and methods of warfare used by Israel.” Stop firing rockets and release all “hostages”.

Jordan strongly condemned Israel’s continued “brutal war crimes” in Gaza, deeming the Israeli offensive “a blatant challenge to the decisions of the International Court of Justice and a serious violation of international law and international humanitarian law.”

The same applies to Moussa Faki, the head of the African Union Commission, who said that “Israel continues to violate international law with absolute impunity, in defiance of the ruling of the International Court of Justice.”

On Friday, the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to “immediately halt” its operations in Rafah, which have forced 800,000 people to flee this month, according to the United Nations.

At the same level, Egypt, the main mediator, along with Qatar and the United States, condemned the “deliberate shelling of displaced persons’ tents by Israeli forces” and demanded that Israel “implement the measures issued by the International Court of Justice”.

Qatar warned that the Israeli bombardment in Rafah would “complicate ongoing mediation efforts”, calling on the “international community to take urgent action to stop the genocide and provide full protection to civilians”.

Saudi Arabia condemned in the strongest terms the “continuous massacres by the Israeli occupation forces”, while Kuwait condemned the “blatant war crimes”.

Philippe Lazzarini, head of the Palestinian Refugee Relief Agency (UNRWA), which has played a key role in relief operations in the besieged area, said on the X platform, “With each passing day, it has become almost impossible to provide aid and protection.”

He added, “Last night’s photos are testimony to how Rafah has become hell on earth,” adding that “severe movement restrictions,” Israeli attacks, Hamas rocket launches and other “challenges… do not allow the distribution of aid. .”

Dr. Suhaib al-Hams, executive director of the Kuwaiti Special Hospital in Rafah, said on Monday that it was no longer in service and was being evacuated after an Israeli bomber hit its entrance “killing two paramedics.”

At Algeria’s request, the UN convened to discuss Rafa’s situation. The Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday.

– An Egyptian border guard was killed –

Meanwhile, the Egyptian military announced that a member of the border guard was killed in a “gunfight” along the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, where Israeli forces are stationed.

In a statement published by the official spokesperson of the army on its official Facebook page, “The Egyptian army is conducting an investigation by the relevant authorities regarding the shooting incident in the Rafah border area, regarding the death of a soldier. Insurance Liability.”

Prior to the Egyptian statement, the Israeli military announced that it was investigating a “shooting incident on the Egyptian border” and confirmed that it had contacts with Egypt.

The fighting in the Gaza Strip began after an unprecedented attack by Hamas on Israeli territory on October 7, killing more than 1,170 people, most of them civilians, according to an Agence France-Presse count based on official Israeli data.

During the attack, 252 people were taken hostage and taken to Gaza. The military said 121 hostages remain in the Gaza Strip, including 37 dead, after a November ceasefire allowed the release of 100 of them.

At least 36,050 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in Israel’s strikes on the Gaza Strip in retaliation for Hamas, according to the Hamas Health Ministry.

Pressure is mounting on Israel to end the fighting as the United Nations warns of imminent famine in the besieged area, where most hospitals are no longer functional.

In this context, Netanyahu said on Monday in front of the families of the hostages, “I will not surrender, I will not surrender, I resist national and international pressure.”

Amid diplomatic pressure, Spain, Ireland and Norway’s recognition of a Palestinian state comes into force on Tuesday, angering Israel.

On Monday, the Israeli Foreign Ministry asked the Spanish embassy in Jerusalem to stop providing consular services to Palestinians in the occupied West Bank from June 1 “as a punitive measure”.

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