July 19, 2024

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Israel Gaza: Netanyahu pledges to continue the war amid condemnation of air strikes

Israel Gaza: Netanyahu pledges to continue the war amid condemnation of air strikes

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to continue the war against Hamas amid international condemnation of the air strike that killed dozens of Palestinians in Rafah on Sunday.

At least 45 people were killed, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry, while hundreds more were treated for severe burns, fractures and shrapnel wounds.

Netanyahu said the strike was a “tragic accident” but added: “I do not intend to end the war before achieving every goal.”

He said it was necessary for Israel to take “every possible precaution” to protect civilians, and insisted that the IDF was making “utmost efforts not to harm non-participants” in the conflict.

  • author, Paul Adams
  • Role, BBC News
  • Report from Jerusalem
Video explanation, At the site of the deadly Israeli raid in Rafah

The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday at the request of Algeria to discuss the Rafah raid.

In a statement issued on Monday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said the strike “killed dozens of innocent civilians who were merely seeking shelter from this deadly conflict.”

“There is no safe place in Gaza,” he said. “This horror must stop.”

Netanyahu, who was speaking in the Israeli parliament, was occasionally interrupted by harassment from family members of hostages taken by Hamas during the October 7 attack, some of whom criticized him for failing to reach an agreement to return their loved ones. That.

He added: “In Rafah we have already evacuated about a million non-combatants, and despite our best efforts not to harm the non-combatants, unfortunately something tragically happened.”

He added: “We are investigating the incident and will reach conclusions because this is our policy.”

International organizations lined up to condemn the raid, with the European Union insisting that Israel respect the ruling issued by the International Court of Justice last week to stop raids on Rafah. Josep Borrell, the European Union’s top diplomat, described Sunday’s strike as “horrific.”

Despite the ICJ ruling, Israel has vowed to continue the Rafah invasion, with officials insisting the ruling left room for attack to comply with international law.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, said that the attack indicates that “there has been no clear change in the methods and means of war used by Israel, which have already led to the killing of many civilians.”

Israel launched the Rafah attack on Sunday, hours after Hamas’s first missile attack on Tel Aviv in several months.

Israeli army officials said that the attack on Rafah led to the killing of two senior Hamas leaders, and that the army was investigating the deaths of civilians in the area.

But the Palestinian Red Crescent said the air strike targeted tents for displaced people near a UN facility in Tal al-Sultan, about two kilometers northwest of central Rafah.

Video clips from the scene of the accident in the Tal Al-Sultan area, on Sunday night, showed a large explosion and burning fires.

Video footage showed a number of buildings on fire next to a sign reading “Kuwait Peace Camp No. 1,” in addition to medics and passers-by carrying several bodies.

Doctors Without Borders said on Monday that one of its facilities received at least 28 dead, including women and children, following the raid.

It said it treated another 180 wounded Palestinians, most of whom suffered from serious wounds resulting from shrapnel, fractures, injuries and burns.

Doctors Without Borders rejected Israeli reports that the raid was accurate, saying that “the attack on a populated camp in the so-called ‘safe zone’ in Rafah shows a complete disregard for the lives of civilians in Gaza.”

The United States described the images as “heartbreaking” but insisted that Israel had the right to defend itself.

A White House national security spokesman said: “Israel has the right to go after Hamas, and we understand that this strike killed two senior Hamas terrorists responsible for attacks against Israeli civilians.”

But they acknowledged that “Israel must take every possible precaution to protect civilians.”

Israeli officials spent much of Monday trying to figure out what went wrong in Rafah. Israel is under pressure to explain how a “precision strike” using specialized munitions with “low-profile warheads” led to a firestorm that killed dozens and wounded dozens more.

Senior military officials, including Major General Yifat Tomer Yerushalmi, the IDF Advocate General, have promised a comprehensive investigation and a more detailed explanation is expected.

However, whether this incident marked a turning point in the campaign is another matter.

Netanyahu said he remains committed to what he calls “total victory” in Rafah, so there is no indication that Sunday’s disaster will change his mind.

The Israeli military campaign in Gaza began after Hamas militants attacked Israel on October 7, killing about 1,200 people and taking 252 others to Gaza hostage.

More than 36,000 Palestinians have been killed in the war since then, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza.

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