Israel faces fresh international condemnation over deadly strikes on Rafah tent camp

Israel faced new condemnation Monday for strikes on the southern Gaza city of Rafah that local health officials said killed at least 45 Palestinians, including displaced people living in tents that were engulfed by fire. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said there had been a “tragic mistake” and that Israel was investigating.

Israel has faced surging international criticism over its war with Hamas, with even some of its closest allies, particularly the United States, expressing outrage at civilian deaths. Israel insists it adheres to international law even as it faces scrutiny in the world’s top courts, one of which last week demanded that it halt the offensive in Rafah.

Israel said it was looking into the civilian deaths after it struck a Hamas installation and killed two senior militants. Sunday night’s attack, which appeared to be one of the war’s deadliest, helped push the overall Palestinian death toll in the war above 36,000, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between fighters and noncombatants in its tally.

In a speech before Israel’s parliament on Monday, Netanyahu said that “despite our utmost efforts not to harm innocent civilians, last night, there was a tragic mistake. We are investigating the incident and will obtain a conclusion because this is our policy.”


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