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UN chief condemns Israeli strike in Rafah, says "horror must stop"

May 28, 2024 11:39 AM

New York : United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the Israeli strike in Rafah, saying that the attack "killed scores of innocent civilians who were only seeking shelter from this deadly conflict." He stated that "horror must stop" and added that there is no safe place in Gaza.


In a post on X, Guterres stated, "I condemn Israel's actions which killed scores of innocent civilians who were only seeking shelter from this deadly conflict. There is no safe place in Gaza. This horror must stop."


At least 45 people were killed and 200 others were injured after the Israeli strike hit a camp for displaced people, CNN reported, 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.


The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk, voiced his horror at the further loss of civilian lives in Gaza. He stated that Israel's strikes on Sunday demonstrates there is literally no safe place.


In a news release on Monday, he said, "The images from the camp are horrific and point to no apparent change in the methods and means of warfare used by Israel that have already led to so many civilian deaths."


"Sunday's strike underscores once again that there is literally no safe place in Gaza," he added.
Turk said, "I note that the IDF has announced a review, but what is shockingly clear is that by striking such an area, densely packed with civilians, this was an entirely predictable outcome. It is crucial that such reviews lead to accountability and changes in policy and practices."


Volker Turk reiterated his call on all parties to the conflict to put in place a ceasefire, according to the statement released by UN. He said, "Israel must take immediate steps to protect civilians, and ensure they have access to essential humanitarian assistance, and release all those detained arbitrarily."


The UN High Commissioner called on Hamas terrorists to unconditionally release all hostages at once. He stated that Hamas must stop the firing of rockets, which are inherently indiscriminate, in clear violation of international humanitarian law.


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, CNN reported.


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, CNN reported, citing the government media office in Gaza. The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) announced that two senior Hamas officials had been killed after targeting a Hamas compound.


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 airstrike was reported after sirens sounded in Tel Aviv and parts of central Israel on Sunday after rockets were fired at the city, according to the Israeli health ministry, CNN reported. It marked the first time rockets were fired on the city since last January.


The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said that eight pockets were fired from the Rafah area of southern Gaza and had crossed into Israel. The IDF stated that a "number of projectiles" had been intercepted.


According to CNN, Hamas has claimed responsibility for the attack. Hamas said it had targeted Tel Aviv with a "large missile barrage" in response to Israel's "massacres against civilians."

 

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