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PM Netanyahu calls Israeli strike on Rafah ‘tragic mistake’, says “we are investigating case”

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday called the country’s strike on a displacement camp in Rafah a “tragic mistake.” He said that Israel is carrying out investigation into the incident. In his address at the Israeli Knesset on Monday, Netanyahu said, “Despite our best effort, not to harm those not involved, unfortunately a tragic mistake happened last night. We are investigating the case.”

At least 45 people were killed and 200 others were injured after the Israeli strike hit a camp for displaced people, according to the government media office in Gaza.

Shortly after the attack, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) announced that two senior Hamas officials had been killed after targeting a Hamas compound. The Israeli attack followed Hamas’ first rocket attack on the Israeli city of Tel Aviv in months.

In a statement, the IDF said the strike had killed Yassin Rabia, who managed the Hamas terrorist activity in Judea and Samari and transferred funds to terrorist targets. According to IDF, Rabia was also behind numerous attacks in which IDF soldiers were killed.

Furthermore, Khaled Najjar, another senior member of Hamas, directed shooting attacks and terrorist activities in Judea and Samaria, according to the IDF.

In a post on X, IDF stated, “Eliminated in the precise airstrike in northwest Rafah: Hamas Chief of Staff in Judea and Samaria and an additional senior Hamas official. Terrorist #1: Yassin Rabia Rabia managed the entirety of Hamas’ terrorist activity in Judea and Samaria, transferred funds to terrorist targets and planned Hamas terrorist attacks throughout Judea and Samaria. He also carried out numerous attacks, in which IDF soldiers were killed.”

“Terrorist #2: Khaled Najjar. Najjar, a senior official in Hamas’ Judea and Samaria Headquarters, directed shooting attacks and other terrorist activities in Judea and Samaria and transferred funds intended for Hamas’ terrorist activities in Gaza. He also carried out several deadly terrorist attacks in which IDF soldiers were killed,” it added.

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.”

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,” ICJ President Judge Nawaf Salam, president said.

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. (ANI)


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Last Updated: 18th Jun 2024