Israeli Strike Kills 35 People in Alleged Rafah ‘Safe Zone’

AFP via Getty Images
AFP via Getty Images

Israel launched a deadly attack on Rafah on Sunday, in what the Palestinian Red Crescent Society claimed was a “humanitarian area” designated by Israel, according to the Associated Press.

Medics said at least 35 people had been killed, and “numerous” others were tapped under the debris.

The strike comes just two days after the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to stop its deadly military assault on the besieged enclave of Rafah, an area in the southern Gaza Strip where nearly one million Palestinian refugees have fled.

Footage of Rafah’s Tal al-Sultan neighborhood on Sunday showed rubble, debris, and the destroyed tents of Palestinian refugees burning in the night. Videos circulating on social media showed charred bodies that had been dragged out of the demolished structures, according to Axios.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society, a humanitarian organization operating in Gaza, insisted that Israel had publicly designated the space as a “humanitarian area,” a safe zone for those displaced refugees. It was not, however, included in a list of Israeli-ordered evacuation zones earlier this month.

Dr. James Smith said that the attack was “one of the most horrific things” since he began working in Gaza, according to The New York Times. He said that the strike had killed and injured those who were “seeking some degree of sanctuary and shelter in tarpaulin tents.”

The attack came hours after eight projectiles were fired into Israel by Hamas, the Israeli military said.

“A number” of the projectiles were intercepted, they said, and there were no casualties. The long-range rocket attack was later claimed by Hamas’ military wing.

In the two days since the ICJ ruling on Rafah, there have been 60 air raids in Rafah, according to the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor. Some of the strikes targeted refugee camps, and at least 13 people were killed, including civilians.

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