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35 dead in Rafah following Hamas attack in Tel Aviv: 10 updates

May 27, 2024
ISRAEL PALESTINIANS GAZA 14 1716770468120 1716770492080

Israel-Hamas war in Gaza news updates: Hours after Palestinian militant group Hamas claimed that it had fired a “large rocket barrage” at Israel’s commercial hub of Tel Aviv, for the first time in months, the Israel military carried out airstrikes on a camp for displaced people in Rafah in southern Gaza Strip late Sunday, reportedly killing at least 35 Palestinians.

The health ministry in the Hamas-run territory said in a statement that the strikes “claimed the lives of 35 martyrs and left dozens injured, most of them children and women”.

The Israeli military said in a statement that it carried out the strike based on “precise intelligence” against “legitimate targets under international law” and that it killed two “senior” Hamas officials responsible for operations in the West Bank.

The Hamas-run government media office in Gaza stated that the strike targeted a centre operated by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees near Rafah, calling it a “horrific massacre.”

The Israeli army reported that its aircraft “struck a Hamas compound in Rafah,” resulting in the deaths of Yassin Rabia and Khaled Nagar, both senior officials of the Palestinian militant group in the occupied West Bank.

The Israeli military also acknowledged being “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”.

“I was walking and looking at my phone when the area was struck,” one survivor told Al Jazeera.

“I did not realise what had happened. I had no idea what had become my family. My mother was with me and my brother was injured at the camp. I fell to the ground and saw that my leg had been split open,” Al Jazeera quoted the survivor as saying. 

Another survivor said the air raid “burned an entire block”. “They burned people alive,” he said.

Fierce between the Israeli military and Hamas has recently centred on Rafah, where the forces launched a ground operation in early May despite widespread opposition over concerns for civilians sheltering there.

Top 10 updates on Israeli airstrikes on Rafah

  1. The area wasn’t among those ordered to be evacuated by the Israeli military as it prepared for the assault on Rafah, and it attracted many people fleeing areas deemed more dangerous, reported Bloomberg.
  2. The strike came two days after the International Court of Justice issued a ruling ordering Israel to halt its operations in the name of sparing civilians.
  3. The Israel Army said Sunday at least eight rockets were fired towards central areas of the country from Rafah, with strikes targeting the commercial hub of Tel Aviv for the first time in months.
  4. The Palestinian Red Crescent said its ambulance crews transported “a large number” of people killed and injured in the Rafah strikes. The Palestinian presidency in the West Bank called it a “heinous massacre”, accusing Israeli forces of “deliberately targeting” the tents of displaced people.
  5. Gaza’s civil defence agency said Israeli strikes killed and wounded at least 50 people in the area, where it said 100,000 displaced people live. Hamas said Palestinians must “rise up and march” against the Israeli army’s “massacre” in Rafah.
  6. Earlier on Sunday, Hamas’s armed wing said it targeted Tel Aviv “with a large rocket barrage in response to the Zionist massacres against civilians”. Rafah is located about 100 km south of Tel Aviv. “Hamas launched these rockets from near two mosques in Rafah,” Israeli military spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said. He added, “Hamas is holding our hostages in Rafah, which is why we have been conducting a precise operation” there.
  7. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to pursue the offensive ahead of a war cabinet meeting amid intense diplomacy to forge a truce and a hostage-release deal.
  8. Israel kept up operations in southern tip of the Gaza Strip despite a ruling by the top UN court on Friday ordering it to stop attacking the city. Israel argues that the UN court’s ruling allows room for some military action there.
  9. The Israeli government says it wants to root out Hamas fighters holed up in Rafah and rescue hostages it says are being held in the area, but its assault has worsened the plight of civilians and caused an international outcry.
  10. Nearly 36,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s offensive, according to Gaza’s health ministry. Israel launched the operation after Hamas-led militants attacked southern Israeli communities on October 7, killing around 1,200 people and seizing more than 250 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

(With inputs from Bloomberg, AFP, Reuters)

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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