Israeli attack on Rafah camp kills at least 35 people, according to the Gaza Ministry

According to Palestinian health workers, at least 35 people were killed on Sunday in Israeli airstrikes in the southern Gaza city of Rafah. The airstrikes also targeted tents for displaced people, trapping “numerous” individuals in the flaming debris. This reported airstrike occurred shortly after Hamas claimed responsibility for firing a barrage of rockets from Gaza towards central Israel. As a result, rocket sirens sounded in cities like Tel Aviv for the first time in months.

According to a statement from Gaza’s Ministry of Health, at least 35 individuals, including women and children, have lost their lives in the recent attack. The statement highlights the unprecedented scale of mass destruction witnessed in Gaza, with an alarming accumulation and utilization of lethal weapons, drawing global attention. Additionally, the ministry emphasizes the dire humanitarian situation in the region, characterized by severe shortages of essential resources such as water, food, medicine, electricity, and fuel.

Eyewitnesses in Gaza have reported that a series of airstrikes targeted tents in western Rafah. Although these reports have yet to be independently verified, witnesses claim that the strikes resulted in casualties, including civilians who were subsequently taken to Emirati Hospital. Notably, the targeted tents were situated within a camp located approximately 200 meters away from the largest United Nations warehouse in the Gaza Strip.

In a statement on Sunday night, the Israel Defense Forces admitted to carrying out the strike.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) recently conducted an airstrike on a Hamas compound in Rafah. According to the IDF, the strike targeted known Hamas terrorists and was carried out in accordance with international law. The operation utilized precise munitions and was based on accurate intelligence that confirmed Hamas’ presence in the area. However, it is unfortunate that there are reports of civilian casualties resulting from the strike and subsequent fire. The IDF is currently reviewing the incident.

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The scene was captured on camera, revealing extensive devastation in the area. According to a representative from the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, the number of casualties is expected to rise as search and rescue operations persist in Rafah’s Tal al-Sultan neighborhood, located to the west of the city center.

According to the society, Israel had designated the location as a “humanitarian area.”

Just two days after the International Court of Justice issued an order for Israel to cease its military offensive in Rafah, a strike has been initiated.

Israel’s defense minister, Yoav Gallant, visited Rafah on Sunday and received a briefing on the ongoing operations in the area, according to his office.

Hours after Hamas launched a barrage of rockets from Gaza, triggering air raid sirens as far as Tel Aviv, an airstrike was reported. This incident showcased Hamas’ resilience, as it occurred more than seven months into Israel’s extensive air, sea, and ground offensive.

According to AP, the attack was claimed by Hamas’ military wing, with the sound of rocket launches audible in central Gaza.

The al-Qassam Brigades, in a statement on its Telegram channel on Sunday, launched rockets in response to what it referred to as “Zionist massacres against civilians,” according to Reuters.

The Israel Defense Forces announced that they successfully intercepted multiple projectiles when a total of eight rockets were launched from Rafah in the Gaza Strip towards Israel.

During the war, the militants targeted communities around Gaza by launching projectiles. However, it has been several months since they last fired longer-range rockets.

According to the Associated Press, there have been no immediate reports of casualties or damage resulting from what seems to be the initial long-range rocket attack from Gaza since January.

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Hours after aid trucks entered Gaza from southern Israel through a new agreement to bypass the Rafah crossing with Egypt, the escalation occurred. Israeli forces had recently seized the southern city of Rafah. It remains uncertain whether humanitarian groups will be able to access the aid due to the ongoing fighting in the area.

Egypt has declined to reopen the Rafah crossing until the control of the Gaza side is returned to the Palestinians. In the meantime, a temporary solution has been reached where traffic will be diverted through Israel’s Kerem Shalom crossing, which serves as Gaza’s primary cargo terminal. This decision came about after a conversation between U.S. President Joe Biden and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.

The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas has resulted in a devastating toll on the Palestinian people. Local health officials report that nearly 36,000 Palestinians have lost their lives as a result of this war. The situation is dire, with approximately 80% of the population, which amounts to 2.3 million individuals, forced to abandon their homes. The consequences of this displacement are severe, as widespread hunger grips the territory and parts of it are even experiencing famine, according to U.N. officials.

According to a CBS News report on Saturday, the United States, along with negotiators from Qatar and Egypt, will continue their diplomatic efforts in the coming week to broker a deal for the release of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza.

According to a senior official from the Biden administration, there has been significant progress in ongoing negotiations. The United States is actively collaborating with mediators from Egypt and Qatar to facilitate these discussions. The official further emphasized that these contacts will persist over the next week, highlighting the administration’s commitment to advancing the negotiation process.

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