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AT LEAST 95 civilians were killed in four unlawful air strikes on an alleged “safe” area in Rafah, a damning new report by Amnesty International revealed today.
The dead included 42 children. The Gaza Health Ministry says more than 12,300 minors have been killed in the besieged enclave since Israel began its invasion of Gaza following the Hamas attack on it on October 7.
According to Israeli authorities, 1,139 people died during the Hamas assault and more than 200 people were taken as hostages.
It also comes as Israel intensified its bombing of Rafah in preparation for an expected ground assault. Palestinians had been ordered to evacuate to the area by Israeli authorities as a place of safety from the battle that raged in northern Gaza.
According to Amnesty the evidence shows that Israeli forces are flouting international humanitarian law in their military operations in Gaza.
One attack on two houses belonging to the Harb family in Al-Zuhour district on December 12 killed 25 civilians, including 10 children.
Another attack on December 14 killed 30, including 11 children.
On December 19, an attack on the Zu’rub family home in western Rafah killed 22 civilians, including 11 children. And on January 9, an attack on the Nofa family home in the Tal Al-Sultan killed 18 civilians, including 10 children.
Amnesty International senior director of research, advocacy, policy and campaigns Erika Guevara-Rosas said: “These attacks illustrate an ongoing pattern of Israeli forces brazenly flouting international law, contradicting claims by Israeli authorities that their forces are taking heightened precautions to minimise harm to civilians.
“In light of the appalling scale of death and destruction, all states have a clear obligation to act to prevent genocide, yet instead key states have failed to make a clear call for a ceasefire and are continuing to fuel war crimes by supplying arms to Israel.”
Meanwhile Israeli air raids on Rafah reportedly killed at least 52 people today.
Israel’s military said it had struck a number of “terror targets” in the Shaboura district of the town on the Egyptian border.
Israel’s military also said it had rescued two captives taken by Hamas in an overnight operation in Rafah.
Military officials said the captives, named as Fernando Simon Marman and Louis Har, were in good condition.
Hamas has warned that an Israeli ground assault in Rafah would “blow up” negotiations to release the group’s remaining captives in Gaza.
Israeli attacks on Rafah came after US President Joe Biden warned Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu to have a “credible” plan to protect civilians in the area.
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