Global outcry as Gaza reels from Israeli strikes on Rafah 'safe zone' camp

Global outcry as Gaza reels from Israeli strikes on Rafah 'safe zone' camp
Live Story
27 May, 2024

Gaza was reeling on Monday after 40 people were killed in an Israeli airstrike on a "safe zone" displacement camp, which Palestinian authorities have described as a "heinous massacre" while further attacks were reported across Gaza.

Late on Sunday, multiple missiles smashed into a displacement camp northwest of Rafah which killed at least 40 people and wounded others who were sheltering in tents near a UNRWA warehouse.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said many of the victims were burned alive and warned that hospitals in the area were struggling to manage the casualties. Israel claims the attack killed two Hamas officials and said the "incident was under review" after admitting it was "aware of reports" of civilian harm.

Four Palestinians were killed on Monday morning by an Israeli air strike on a residential building west of Rafah, according to Palestinian news agency Wafa.

In south Lebanon, Israel said its fighter jets struck Hezbollah targets overnight including a "weapons storage facility" in Meiss El Jabal while Hezbollah said five fighters were killed in three separate attacks.

Meanwhile, the foreign ministers of Ireland, Norway and Spain are due to meet Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa on Monday ahead of the formal recognition of the state of Palestine tomorrow.

Several wounded by Israeli strike near hospital in Lebanon
1:23 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

An Israeli strike targeting a motorcycle in southern Lebanon on Monday hit next to a hospital entrance, killing at least one person and wounding several civilians who were gathered outside, local health officials said.

The strike killed the motorcycle driver in the town of Bint Jbeil. It was not immediately clear who the driver was.

The Israeli army did not immediately give a statement on the strike but said it had targeted other areas of southern Lebanon in response to "terrorist launches."

Mohammed Suleiman, director of the Salah Ghandour Hospital in Bint Jbeil, said they had received one person killed and nine wounded in the strike, most of whom were "civilians who were in front of the hospital, where family members and people accompanying the patients usually gather."

Two of the wounded were in "highly sensitive" condition, he said. The strike also caused minor damage to the hospital, an Associated Press photographer at the scene said.

Israel says Rafah civilians may have died from fire set off
1:15 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Initial findings of an Israeli investigation into a mass-casualty event in the Gazan city of Rafah are that an air strike against Hamas commanders set off a fire which killed Palestinian civilians, government spokesperson Avi Hyman said on Monday.

Palestinian health officials said on Monday that at least 45 civilians were killed in the strike on Sunday night, describing victims as "burned alive".


Tory politician: UK policy on Palestine 'morally bankrupt'
1:05 PM
The New Arab Staff

A British Conservative peer has described the UK's foreign policy on Palestine as "morally bankrupt" in comments following the major air strike which killed at least 45 displaced Palestinians sheltering in Rafah on Sunday.

Baroness Sayeeda Hussain Warsi decried the UK's failure to stop Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, back the ICC or ICJ investigation and the decision to abstain at the UN Security Council votes on Palestine.

Warsi said "so many of us have publically and privately urged" the government and foreign office to act on Israel's war in Gaza.

"We failed to support the ICJ, abstained at the UNSC, undermined the ICC and continued to arm and support a regime that has brutally slaughtered innocents for months. UK foreign policy on Palestine is morally bankrupt. I am sorry we failed you," she said in a post on X.

Over 36,000 killed in nearly eight months of war in Gaza
12:19 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The health ministry in Gaza said on Monday that the death toll in the more than seven months of war between Israel and Palestinian militants surpassed 36,000.

At least 36,050 people have been killed in the conflict, including 66 over the past 24 hours, the ministry said, adding that 81,026 people have been wounded in the Gaza Strip since the war began when Hamas militants attacked Israel on October 7.

Health officials have warned that the final death toll could be far higher considering the numbers of people trapped under rubble.

Death toll rises to 45 in air strike on displacement camp
12:10 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

At least 45 Palestinians, including at least 23 women, children and elderly people, were killed in an Israeli attack on a camp for those displaced from the southern city of Rafah, the Gaza health ministry said on Monday.

French President Macron says 'outraged' over Rafah strike
11:45 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday said he was "outraged" over Israel's latest strikes on Rafah that killed dozens of displaced persons.

"These operations must stop. There are no safe areas in Rafah for Palestinian civilians," Macron said on social network X.

Israeli army prosecutor: 70 'criminal' probes underway
11:20 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israel's chief military prosecutor said on Monday that 70 investigations were underway for potential "criminal offenses" regarding the military's offensive in Gaza.

The military advocate general Yifat Tomer-Yerushalmi in a speech to various senior members of the Israeli judiciary described that the war on Gaza as "the most -legal focussed war that we seen".

He said that accusations of potential criminal actions among the Israeli military have been investigated throughout the war and are reviewed by the "Military Police Criminal Investigation Division".

"At this point, I can say that so far approximately seventy MPCID investigations have been launched regarding incidents that raised suspicion of criminal offenses."

Tomer-Yerushalmi said these included allegations of mistreatment of Palestinians at the Sde Teiman detention camp and "the deaths of detainees" in custody.

Italy says violence in Gaza 'no longer justifiable'
11:10 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Italy said on Monday Israeli attacks on Palestinian civilians in Gaza were no longer justifiable in one of the strongest criticisms Rome has made so far against Israel's campaign.

"There is an increasingly difficult situation, in which the Palestinian people are being squeezed without regard for the rights of innocent men, women and children who have nothing to do with Hamas and this can no longer be justified," Defence Minister Guido Crosetto told SkyTG24 TV.

"We are watching the situation with despair."

On Saturday, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani met Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa in Rome, reiterating their support for a ceasefire and urging Hamas to release Israeli hostages.


Israel orders Spain to stop services for Palestinians
10:46 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israel's foreign ministry said on Monday it had told the Spanish consulate in Jerusalem to stop offering consular services to Palestinians from June 1 over Madrid's recognition of a Palestinian state.

The ministry said that Spain's consulate in Jerusalem is "authorised to provide consular services to residents of the consular district of Jerusalem only, and is not authorised to provide services or perform consular activity vis-a-vis residents of the Palestinian Authority".

The directive is effective from June 1, the ministry said in a statement.

Foreign Minister Israel Katz said in a separate statement that "today, I implemented preliminary punitive measures against the Spanish consulate in Jerusalem following the Spanish government's recognition of a Palestinian state".

"We will not put up with harming Israel's sovereignty and security."

Spain is one of the European countries that has been most critical of Israel over the war in Gaza.

Last week, Spain, Ireland and Norway announced their decision to recognise the State of Palestine from Tuesday, May 28, drawing a strong rebuke from Israel.

Qatar: Rafah strikes could 'hinder' Gaza truce talks
10:20 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel's latest strikes near Gaza's southern city of Rafah could hinder talks towards a truce and hostage release deal, mediator nation Qatar said on Monday.

The foreign ministry voiced "concern that the bombing will complicate ongoing mediation efforts and hinder reaching an agreement for an immediate and permanent ceasefire".

An Israeli airstrike on a displacement camp in north-western Rafah killed some 40 civilians on Sunday, Palestinian authorities said. Israel claimed the strike targeted two Hamas members and said it is reviewing the incident.

Gaza civil defence says death toll from strike rises to 40
9:57 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Gaza's civil defence agency said Monday that the death toll from Israeli air strikes on a displaced people's camp near Rafah had risen to 40, with many bodies "charred" from fires caused by the bombings.

"The massacre committed by the Israeli occupation army in the refugee tents northwest of Rafah city in the southern Gaza Strip has left 40 martyrs and 65 wounded," Mohammad al-Mughayyir, a senior official at the civil defence agency, told AFP.

"We saw charred bodies and dismembered limbs ... We also saw cases of amputations, wounded children, women and the elderly."

He said that rescue efforts were facing major challenges.

"There is a fuel shortage ... there are roads that have been destroyed, which hinders the movement of civil defence vehicles in these targeted areas," Mughayyir said.

"There is also a shortage of water to extinguish fires."

[Image: Getty]

Israeli military prosecutor says 'very grave' Rafah incident
9:44 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel's top military prosecutor described as "very grave" on Monday an air strike on Rafah which according to Gaza health authorities killed dozens of Palestinian civilians, and said an after-action investigation by the armed forces continued.

"The details of the incident are still under an investigation, which we are committed to conducting to the fullest extent," Major-General Yifat Tomer Yerushalmi told a conference hosted by the Israel Bar Association.

"The IDF (Israel Defence Forces) regrets any harm to non-combatants during the war."


Israel says it hit Hezbollah fighter in Lebanon strike
9:30 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli forces said its aircraft struck a Hezbollah fighter in Aainata in south Lebanon on Monday, an area it claimed from which "launches were fired" toward Israel.

Earlier on Monday, Lebanese media reported that a drone strike killed one person on a motorbike in front of Salah Ghandour Hospital in Bint Jbeil.


Egypt condemns Israel's 'deliberate bombardment' of Rafah
9:15 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Egypt on Monday condemned what it called the "deliberate bombardment by Israeli forces of displaced peoples' tents" in Rafah, in strikes which Gaza's civil defence agency said killed at least 40 people.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry issued a statement calling on Israel to "implement the measures ordered by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) concerning an immediate cessation of military operations" in Rafah.

Multiple Israeli strikes in south Lebanon kills at least 7
9:00 AM
The New Arab Staff

Hezbollah said one person was killed and ten others injured on Monday in an Israeli strike near a hospital in the town of Bint Jbeil in south Lebanon.

It follows at least three separate Israeli strikes on Sunday which targeted individuals on motorcycles, killing a number of people and wounding several others.

One person was killed when an Israeli strike hit a motorcycle near a UN base near Naqoura early in the morning. 

Shortly afterwards, two civilians were killed and one wounded in an Israeli strike on the southern Lebanese village of Aita al-Chaab, according to state news agency NNA said. 

Later, NNA reported that another motorcycle was targeted in the southern village of Houla, killing one and wounding three others, with French-language L'Orient-Le Jour newspaper reporting "many injuries".

In response, Hezbollah announced the targeting of several northern Israeli military sites with rockets and artillery shells, including Jal al-Alam, Malkiyah, Margaliot, Shlomi, Hanita and Avivim.

Hamas, Palestinian factions condemn ‘war crime’ on camp
8:45 AM
The New Arab Staff

Hamas has condemned the Israeli strike on a refugee camp in the Rafah area in southern Gaza, describing it as a "horrific war crime".

On its official Telegram channel, the group said on Sunday that it held the US administration and President Joe Biden "fully responsible for the massacre".

In another statement, the group called for "angry marches" in the West Bank, Jerusalem and other cities against the "continued Zionist massacres". It also called on Arab countries to sever ties with Israel.

Other Palestinian factions, including the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) issued statements calling for the trial of the US administration as a "partner in the war crimes committed against Palestinian civilians".

Spain to ask EU partners to back ICJ over Israel
8:30 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares said on Monday that he will ask the other 26 European Union member states to issue official backing to the International Court of Justice and take steps to ensure Israel respects its decisions.

"I am going to ask the other 26 partners to declare the backing of the International Court of Justice and its decision, and also, if Israel continues to pursue against that opinion of the Court, we would try to take the right measures to enforce that decision," he told reporters in Brussels during a joint news conference with his Irish and Norwegian counterparts. 




The New Arab Staff
The New Arab Staff & Agencies