At least 35 people killed in Israeli strikes in Rafah: Palestinian Health Ministry

World Monday 27/May/2024 07:35 AM
At least 35 people killed in Israeli strikes in Rafah: Palestinian Health Ministry

Gaza: At least 35 people were killed and dozens more were injured in Israel's strike in Gaza on Sunday, CNN reported, citing the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said that the majority of those killed and injured are women and children.

In an earlier statement, the ministry said, "There is no hospital in Rafah with enough capacity to take this number of killed and injured, causing confusion among ambulance teams on where to transfer them."

Gaza officials and the Palestine Red Crescent Society said the area that was hit by the airstrike is a camp for displaced people.

Videos posted on social media showed a large fire at the scene, with paramedics and firefighters working to manage the aftermath. The area that had been targeted included a large container used as a shelter for dozens of families, surrounded by hundreds of tents.

Gaza's government office said, "The Israeli occupation army had designated these areas as safe zones, calling on citizens and displaced persons to head to these safe areas," adding that when displaced people sought refuge, they came under attack, according to a CNN report.

Earlier, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) confirmed the strike and said that it struck a "Hamas compound in Rafah in which significant Hamas terrorists were operating a short while ago." The IDF said that it was aware of reports indicating that several civilians were harmed due to the strike and fire that was ignited and added that the incident is under review.

In a post on X, IDF stated, "An IDF aircraft struck a Hamas compound in Rafah in which significant Hamas terrorists were operating a short while ago. The strike was carried out against legitimate targets under international law, through the use of precise munitions and on the basis of precise intelligence that indicated Hamas' use of the area. The IDF is aware of reports indicating that as a result of the strike and fire that was ignited several civilians in the area were harmed. The incident is under review."

According to IDF, the terrorists who were killed in the airstrike include Hamas Chief of Staff in Judea and Samaria and an additional senior Hamas official.

The airstrike was reported after sirens sounded in Tel Aviv and parts of central Israel on Sunday after rockets were fired at the city, according to the Israeli health ministry, CNN reported.

It marked the first time rockets were fired on the city since last January. The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said that eight pockets were fired from the Rafah area of southern Gaza and had crossed into Israel. The IDF stated that a "number of projectiles" had been intercepted.

According to CNN, Hamas has claimed responsibility for the attack. Hamas said it had targeted Tel Aviv with a "large missile barrage" in response to Israel's "massacres against civilians."

Meanwhile, Israeli Minister of Defence Yoav Gallant met with Israeli military officials in Rafah on Sunday for an update on the troops' operation in Gaza, according to an IDF statement, according to CNN report.

According to the statement, Gallant delivered an address to the IDF troops and told them that efforts were being made to dismantle Hamas and return the hostages who continue to remain held in Gaza. He also lauded the soldiers for their dedication and sacrifices since Hamas' attack on Israel on October 7, the military said.

The Israeli airstrikes in Rafah comes days after the United Nations' top court has ordered Israel to halt its operations in the southern Gaza city of Rafah and withdraw from the enclave, CNN reported.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) situated in The Hague, Netherlands gave the order on Friday, in the case brought by South Africa accusing Israel of genocide, citing "immense risk" to the Palestinian population.

"Israel must immediately halt its military offensive and any other action in the Rafah Governorate which may inflict on the Palestinian group in Gaza conditions of life that could bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part," said Judge Nawaf Salam, president of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Notably, the decision marks the third time this year, that the 15-judge panel has issued preliminary orders seeking to rein in the death toll and alleviate humanitarian suffering in Gaza. However, it is pertinent to note that while orders are legally binding, the court has no police to enforce them.