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Gaza authorities announce 45 dead in Israeli strike on Rafah

Photo: Eyad Baba Agence France-Presse After the strike, the Palestinian Civil Defense reported numerous bodies “charred” in a fire which ravaged the Barkasat displaced persons camp, managed by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), in the north -west of Rafah.

France Media Agency to Rafah

Posted at 8:52 a.m. Updated at 9:27 a.m.

  • Middle East

The Ministry of Health in Gaza on Monday reported 45 dead in a nighttime Israeli strike that set fire to tents occupied by displaced Palestinians in a camp in Rafah, an attack that sparked protests convictions abroad.

In Israel, the army said on Sunday evening that it had targeted two senior Hamas officials with “precise munitions”, “legitimate targets under international law”, and that it was investigating reports of civilians killed in a fire.

The government said on Monday it was examining the facts concerning this strike which it described as “serious”, assuring that Israel was seeking to “limit civilian casualties.”

The attack in Rafah, where Israel launched ground operations on May 7 despite concerns expressed within the international community out of fear for the civilian population in the overcrowded city, was denounced in particular by Egypt and Qatar , mediators in diplomatic efforts to achieve a ceasefire in the devastating war that began almost eight months ago.

« Influx of injured »

Palestinian Civil Defense reported numerous bodies “charred” in a fire that ravaged the Barkasat displaced persons camp, run by the agency of the United Nations for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), in the northwest of Rafah.

“The massacre committed by the Israeli occupation army in the tents of refugees […] left 40 “martyrs” and 65 injured,” Mohammed al-Mughayyir, a Civil Defense official in the Gaza Strip, told AFP.

< p>“We saw charred, dismembered bodies… We also saw cases of amputations, injured children, women and elderly people,” he added.

Images from the Palestinian Red Crescent, according to which the location targeted by the strike had been designated by Israel “as a humanitarian zone”, showed scenes of chaos, ambulances with sirens blaring and rescuers in the middle of the night at a site in fire, evacuating the wounded, including children.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said it was receiving an “influx of wounded who suffered burns.”

AFP images in the early morning show the charred remains of makeshift tents and vehicles, with families seeing a blackened landscape around of them.

“Fire all around”

“The massacre in Rafah yesterday left 45 dead”, according to a report provided Monday by the Ministry of Health of the Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip, which also reported “249 injured”.

“We had just finished evening prayers. Our children were sleeping […] suddenly we heard a loud noise and there was fire all around us. The children were screaming. The noise was terrifying. It looked like shrapnel going through the rooms,” said a Palestinian woman refusing to be identified.

The strike came a few hours after eight rockets were fired at Tel Aviv from Rafah, for the first time in several months, with the Israeli army saying it had intercepted “a number”. Hamas' military wing said it fired “a large barrage of rockets in response to Zionist massacres against civilians.”

Hamas denounced a “horrific massacre” and called for protests in the occupied West Bank, where the Palestinian Authority accused Israel of “deliberately targeting” the Rafah camp.

On Monday, Jordan strongly condemned “ongoing war crimes”, saying that the Israeli strike in Rafah “defies the decisions of the ICJ and constitutes a serious violation of international law and international humanitarian law”.< /p>

On Friday, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Israel to suspend its operations in Rafah, which in nearly three weeks, according to the UN, had pushed some 800,000 people to the flight, many of whom have already been displaced several times by the war.

A key mediator with Qatar and the United States, Egypt has condemned a “deliberate bombardment by Israeli forces on tents for displaced persons” in Rafah, calling on Israel to “implement the measures decreed by the ICJ”.

Qatar warned that Israeli strikes in Rafah could “complicate mediation efforts,” calling on “the international community to act urgently to prevent genocide and protect civilians.”

< h2 class="h2-intertitle">“Justice”

Saudi Arabia also condemned “in the strongest terms the continuation of the massacres”. Kuwait denounced “blatant war crimes”.

For his part, French President Emmanuel Macron said he was “outraged”, and his Turkish counterpart , Recep Tayyip Erdogan, promised that his country would do “everything possible” to hold the “barbaric” Israeli authorities to account.

The head of diplomacy of the EU, Josep Borrell said he was “horrified”.

The war was sparked by an attack on Israeli soil on October 7 by Hamas commandos infiltrated from the Gaza Strip, leading to the deaths of more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP count. based on official Israeli data.

On that day, 252 people were taken as hostages into the Palestinian territory, of whom 121 are still being held in Gaza, including 37 who died, according to the army.

The retaliation by Israel, which says it wants to destroy Hamas, left at least 36,050 dead in the Gaza Strip, mainly civilians, according to the Ministry of Health of the Hamas administration in the Palestinian territory.

After nearly eight months of war, pressure is mounting on Israel and the UN warns of imminent famine in the besieged Gaza Strip, where most hospitals are no longer functioning.

On Tuesday, Spain, Norway and Ireland will recognize the State of Palestine, an announcement made last week which angered Israel.

“Anyone who gives a prize to Hamas and tries to establish a Palestinian terrorist state will not be in contact with the Palestinians,” Foreign Minister Israel Katz blasted Monday, whose country, as well as the United States and the The European Union considers Hamas to be a terrorist organization.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116