Civilians dead in Rafah: Netanyahu sees “tragic mistake”

Netanyahu said Israel tried to ensure civilian safety, but a tragic mistake still occurred. “We are investigating the incident,” he said. “For us it’s a tragedy, for Hamas it’s a strategy.” The Israeli military launched an investigation. The Army’s attorney general has ordered the General Staff Investigation and Evaluation Mechanism to investigate the attack, the military said on Monday.

Jifat Tomar-Jerushalmi, Israel’s top military prosecutor, described Monday’s airstrike as “extremely serious.” Details are still being investigated. They are determined to proceed with utmost care at the conference hosted by the Israel Bar Association. “The armed forces regret any harm caused to non-combatants during war.”

ORF reporters on the situation after the airstrike

ORF reporters Nikolaus Wildner and Karim El-Gawhary cover the 45 dead in Gaza. They also report how the Arab world responded.

Dozens died

At least 45 people were killed and dozens wounded in an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip city of Rafah on Sunday, the Hamas-controlled health authority said. According to the Red Cross, the attack targeted the tents of refugee civilians. The organization said the affected area was one of the designated humanitarian zones for those forced to leave by Israeli hostilities. Israel’s military denied the reports on Monday. There was no airstrike in al-Mawasi humanitarian zone.

The military spoke of “legitimate targets”.

On Sunday, the Israeli military said the airstrike “hit a Hamas compound in Rafah, where key Hamas terrorists operate.” The attack with “precision munitions” was directed against “legitimate targets”. “Precise intelligence” pointed to Hamas using the site. According to the military, two high-ranking Hamas members were killed. According to the military, those killed were Yassin Rabia, who masterminded Hamas’ terrorist operations in the West Bank, and Saleh Nagar, a senior Hamas terrorist.

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Hamas stopped participating in the talks

The Islamist Palestinian organization Hamas has temporarily suspended its participation in the ceasefire talks. Secret talks between Israel and Hamas, brokered by Egypt, Qatar and the US, recently reached an impasse after days of talks in Cairo and Doha. According to media reports, they are due to resume this week “based on new plans”. Negotiators from the US, Israel and Qatar are said to have discussed the matter in Paris on Friday.

An emergency UN meeting is scheduled

The UN Security Council has called an emergency meeting on Tuesday. AFP news agency learned from diplomatic sources that the meeting requested by Algeria on Rafa’s situation will take place behind closed doors.

Harsh criticism of Israel comes from the UN: Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly criticized Israel’s attack. “I condemn Israel’s actions that killed many innocent civilians who were simply seeking safety from this deadly conflict,” Guterres wrote on X (Twitter). There is no safe place for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. “This horror must stop.”

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Dürk expressed shock at the killing of displaced Palestinians in Rafah, Gaza Strip. Austria at the UN in Geneva on Monday. The ambassador said, “The images taken from the camp are appalling.” Israel has apparently not changed the conduct of the war, which has already led to many civilian deaths, Turk criticized. He called on Israel to comply with the order of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and immediately stop the military operation in Rafah.

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International criticism of airstrikes in Rafah

The airstrikes also prompted sharp criticism from Arab and European countries over Israel’s conduct of the war. The Egyptian Foreign Ministry has criticized Israel’s “deliberate bombing of refugee camps” as a “new and flagrant violation of international law”. Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry has accused Israel of targeting the tents of displaced Palestinians. Jordan strongly condemned the “blatant disregard” of the ICJ’s decision.

Qatar warns of implications for talks

The Qatari-mediated government expressed concern that the attack would hamper efforts to reach a ceasefire in the Gaza conflict. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Doha called on the international community to take urgent measures to prevent the “crime of genocide”. Similar harsh words came from Kuwait.

International Criticism After Airstrikes on Rafah

At least 45 people are believed to have died in an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip city of Rafah, according to the Hamas-controlled Health Authority. It has met with international criticism, and disputes over how to deal with Israel and Palestine continue.

EU foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbach urged Israel to recognize and implement the ICJ’s decision. Strong criticism came from Italy. It is no longer fair for the Palestinian people to be put under pressure “without regard for the rights of innocent men, women and children who have nothing to do with Hamas,” Defense Minister Guido Croceto said.

Sharp criticism of Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron was furious. “These actions must stop,” he wrote in X. “There are no safe zones for Palestinian civilians in Rafah.” Ireland’s Foreign Minister Michael Martin condemned both the Israeli attack on Rafah and Hamas’ previous rocket attack on Israel.

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The US government was shocked by the large number of civilian deaths. A White House National Security Council spokesman said the images of the camp, where “dozens of innocent Palestinians” were killed, were “disastrous” and “heartbreaking.” He warned that Israel must “take all precautions to protect civilians.”

Egyptian soldier killed in border attack

A serious incident further escalated tensions on Monday along Egypt’s border with Gaza. Cairo confirmed that an Egyptian soldier was killed in the firefight. The background to this is still unclear, citing the Israeli military as saying that the Egyptian side opened fire first. However, Israeli troops opened fire first, an Egyptian government official told Al-Arabi news site.

A tight relationship

It was the first publicly known death in the Egyptian military since the Gaza war began in early October. The situation on the Egyptian border has recently worsened. Israeli troops advanced there three weeks ago, taking control of the Rafah border crossing on the Palestinian side, along the border between Egypt and Gaza.

Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty in 1979 after several wars. However, relations between the two countries have been severely tested since the Gaza war.

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