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Netanyahu says deadly Israeli strike in Rafah was the result of a ‘tragic mishap’



Netanyahu says deadly Israeli strike in Rafah was the result of a ‘tragic mishap’

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated Monday {that a} “tragic mishap” was made in an Israeli strike within the southern Gaza metropolis of Rafah that set hearth to a camp housing displaced Palestinians and, in accordance with native officers, killed no less than 45 individuals.

The strike solely added to the surging worldwide criticism Israel has confronted over its warfare with Hamas, with even its closest allies expressing outrage at civilian deaths. Israel insists it adheres to worldwide legislation even because it faces scrutiny on this planet’s high courts, considered one of which final week demanded that it halt the offensive in Rafah.

Netanyahu didn’t elaborate on the error. Israel’s army initially stated it had carried out a exact airstrike on a Hamas compound, killing two senior militants. As particulars of the strike and hearth emerged, the army stated it had opened an investigation into the deaths of civilians.

Sunday night time’s assault, which seemed to be one of many warfare’s deadliest, helped push the general Palestinian loss of life toll within the warfare above 36,000, in accordance with the Gaza Well being Ministry, which doesn’t distinguish between fighters and noncombatants in its tally.

“Regardless of our utmost efforts to not hurt harmless civilians, final night time there was a tragic mishap,” Netanyahu stated Monday in an handle to Israel’s parliament. “We’re investigating the incident and can acquire a conclusion as a result of that is our coverage.”

Mohammed Abuassa, who rushed to the scene within the northwestern neighborhood of Tel al-Sultan, stated rescuers “pulled out individuals who have been in an insufferable state.”

“We pulled out youngsters who have been in items. We pulled out younger and aged individuals. The fireplace within the camp was unreal,” he stated.

A minimum of 45 individuals have been killed, in accordance with the Gaza Well being Ministry and the Palestinian Purple Crescent rescue service. The ministry stated the useless included no less than 12 ladies, eight youngsters and three older adults, with one other three our bodies burned past recognition.

In a separate growth, Egypt’s army stated considered one of its troopers was shot useless throughout an alternate of fireplace within the Rafah space, with out offering additional particulars. Israel stated it was in touch with Egyptian authorities, and each side stated they have been investigating.

An preliminary investigation discovered that the soldier had responded to an alternate of fireplace between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants, Egypt’s state-owned Qahera TV reported. Egypt has warned that Israel’s incursion in Rafah may threaten the 2 nations’ decades-old peace treaty.

The U.N. Safety Council scheduled an emergency closed assembly for Tuesday afternoon on the scenario in Rafah on the request of Algeria, the Arab consultant on the council, two council diplomats instructed The Related Press forward of an official announcement.

Rafah, the southernmost Gaza metropolis on the border with Egypt, had housed greater than 1,000,000 individuals — about half of Gaza’s inhabitants — displaced from different components of the territory. Most have fled as soon as once more since Israel launched what it known as a restricted incursion there earlier this month. Lots of of 1000’s are packed into squalid tent camps in and across the metropolis.

Elsewhere in Rafah, the director of the Kuwait Hospital, one of many metropolis’s final functioning medical facilities, stated it was shutting down and that workers members have been relocating to a subject hospital. Dr. Suhaib al-Hamas stated the choice was made after a strike killed two well being staff Monday on the entrance to the hospital.

Netanyahu says Israel should destroy what he says are Hamas’ final remaining battalions in Rafah. The militant group launched a barrage of rockets Sunday from the town towards closely populated central Israel, setting off air raid sirens however inflicting no accidents.

The strike on Rafah introduced a brand new wave of condemnation, even from Israel’s strongest supporters.

The U.S. Nationwide Safety Council stated in an announcement that the “devastating photos” from the strike on Rafah have been “heartbreaking.” It stated the U.S. was working with the Israeli army and others to evaluate what occurred.

French President Emmanuel Macron was extra blunt, saying “these operations should cease” in a submit on X. “There are not any protected areas in Rafah for Palestinian civilians. I name for full respect for worldwide legislation and an instantaneous ceasefire,” he wrote.

The Overseas Workplace of Germany, which has been a staunch supporter of Israel for many years, stated “the photographs of charred our bodies, together with youngsters, from the airstrike in Rafah are insufferable.”

“The precise circumstances should be clarified, and the investigation introduced by the Israeli military should now come rapidly,” the ministry added. “The civilian inhabitants should lastly be higher protected.”

Qatar, a key mediator in makes an attempt to safe a cease-fire and the discharge of hostages held by Hamas, stated the Rafah strike may “complicate” talks, Negotiations, which look like restarting, have faltered repeatedly over Hamas’ demand for a long-lasting truce and the withdrawal of Israeli forces, phrases Israeli leaders have publicly rejected.

The Israeli army’s high authorized official, Maj. Gen. Yifat Tomer-Yerushalmi, stated authorities have been inspecting the strike in Rafah and that the army regrets the lack of civilian life.

Talking to an Israeli legal professionals’ convention, Tomer-Yerushalmi stated Israel has launched 70 prison investigations into doable violations of worldwide legislation, together with the deaths of civilians, the situations at a detention facility holding suspected militants and the deaths of some inmates in Israeli custody. She stated incidents of property crimes and looting have been additionally being examined.

Israel has lengthy maintained it has an unbiased judiciary able to investigating and prosecuting abuses. However rights teams say Israeli authorities routinely fail to totally examine violence towards Palestinians and that even when troopers are held accountable, the punishment is often mild.

Israel has denied allegations of genocide introduced towards it by South Africa on the Worldwide Court docket of Justice. Final week, the court docket ordered Israel to halt its Rafah offensive, a ruling it has no energy to implement.

Individually, the chief prosecutor on the Worldwide Felony Court docket is looking for arrest warrants towards Netanyahu and Israeli Protection Minister Yoav Gallant, in addition to three Hamas leaders, over alleged crimes linked to the warfare. The ICC solely intervenes when it concludes that the state in query is unable or unwilling to correctly prosecute such crimes.

Israel says it does its greatest to stick to the legal guidelines of warfare. Israeli leaders additionally say they face an enemy that makes no such dedication, embeds itself in civilian areas and refuses to launch Israeli hostages unconditionally.

Hamas triggered the warfare with its Oct. 7 assault into Israel, through which Palestinian militants killed some 1,200 individuals, principally civilians, and seized some 250 hostages. Hamas nonetheless holds about 100 hostages and the stays of round 30 others after a lot of the relaxation have been launched throughout a cease-fire final 12 months.

Round 80% of Gaza’s 2.3 million individuals have fled their properties. Extreme starvation is widespread, and U.N. officers say components of the territory are experiencing famine.


Magdy reported from Cairo. Related Press writers Zeke Miller in Washington, Kirsten Grieshaber in Berlin, Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Colleen Barry in Rome contributed to this report.


Observe AP’s protection of the warfare at

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