Skip to main content

Israel face new storm of condemnation after dozens die in Rafah strikes

ISRAEL faced fresh condemnation today for strikes on the southern Gaza city of Rafah that local health officials said had killed at least 45 Palestinians, including displaced people living in tents that were engulfed by fire.

The country has provoked a growing storm of international condemnation over its military action in the now devastated coastal strip, with even close allies expressing outrage at civilian deaths.

Israel is seeking to wipe out Islamist resistance group Hamas, but, showing that it’s far from beaten, the resistance group launched a barrage of rockets on Sunday from the city towards central Israel, causing no injuries.

Tel Aviv said today it was looking into the civilian deaths in Rafah after its forces struck a Hamas installation and killed two senior militants.

Sunday night’s attack, which appeared to be one of the deadliest since the start of the current violence, helped push the overall Palestinian death toll above 36,000, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

“We pulled out people who were in an unbearable state,” said Mohammed Abuassa, who rushed to the scene in the north-western district of Tel al-Sultan. “We pulled out children who were in pieces. We pulled out young and elderly people. The fire in the camp was unreal.”

The Gaza Health Ministry said about half of the dead were women, children and older adults.

France said it was “outraged” by the violence. “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,” President Emmanuel Macron posted on X.

Rafah, on the border with Egypt, housed more than a million people — about half of Gaza’s population — displaced from other parts of the territory, but most have fled once again since Israeli troops entered the city earlier this month. Hundreds of thousands are packed into squalid tent camps in and around it.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s military said one of its soldiers had been shot dead during an exchange of fire in the Rafah area.

Italian Defence Minister Guido Crosetto said that, through bombings like the one in Rafah, “Israel with this choice is spreading hatred, rooting hatred that will involve their children and grandchildren.”

Qatar, a key mediator between Israel and Hamas in attempts to secure a ceasefire and the release of hostages held by Hamas, said the strikes could “complicate” talks.

Egypt and Jordan also condemned the Rafah strikes, with the Jordanian Foreign Ministry calling them a “war crime.”

OWNED BY OUR READERS

We're a reader-owned co-operative, which means you can become part of the paper too by buying shares in the People’s Press Printing Society.

 

 

Become a supporter

Fighting fund

You've Raised:£ 13,226
We need:£ 4,774
8 Days remaining
Donate today