Israeli strikes kill 35 in Rafah as displaced people hit, say Palestinian medics

27 May 2024, 08:14

Israeli soldiers
Israel Palestinians. Picture: PA

The attacks came two days after the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to end its military offensive in the city.

Israeli air strikes have killed at least 35 people and hit tents for displaced people in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, and “numerous” others were trapped in flaming debris, according to Palestinian health workers.

Gaza’s Health Ministry said women and children made up most of the dead and dozens of wounded after the attacks on Sunday.

They came two days after the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to end its military offensive in Rafah, where more than half of Gaza’s population had sought shelter before Israel’s incursion earlier this month.

Israel Palestinians
A makeshift tent camp in Rafah (Abdel Kareem Hana/AP)

Tens of thousands of people remain in the area while many others have fled.

Footage from the scene of the largest air strike showed heavy destruction. Israel’s army confirmed the strike and said it hit a Hamas installation and killed two senior militants.

It said it was investigating reports that civilians were harmed. Defence minister Yoav Gallant was in Rafah on Sunday and was briefed on the “deepening of operations” there, his office said.

A spokesperson with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said the death toll is likely to rise as search and rescue efforts continue in the Tal al-Sultan neighbourhood.

The society said the location had been designated by Israel as a “humanitarian area”. It is not included in areas that Israel’s military ordered evacuated earlier this month.

The air strike was reported hours after Hamas fired a barrage of rockets from Gaza that set off air raid sirens as far away as Tel Aviv for the first time in months in a show of resilience more than seven months into Israel’s massive air, sea and ground offensive.

There were no reports of casualties in what appeared to be the first long-range rocket attack from Gaza since January. Hamas’s military wing claimed responsibility.

Israel’s military said eight projectiles crossed into Israel after being launched from Rafah and “a number” were intercepted, and the launcher was destroyed.

Earlier on Sunday, dozens of aid trucks entered Gaza from southern Israel under a new agreement to bypass the Rafah crossing with Egypt after Israeli forces seized the Palestinian side of it earlier this month. Israel’s military said 126 aid trucks entered by the nearby Kerem Shalom crossing.

It was not immediately clear if humanitarian groups could access the aid — including medical supplies — because of fighting. The crossing has been largely inaccessible because of Israel’s offensive in Rafah.

United Nations agencies say it is usually too dangerous to retrieve the aid, and the World Health Organisation last week said an expanded Israeli incursion in Rafah would have a “disastrous” impact.

Israel Palestinians
Palestinians waiting for aid trucks to reach the Gaza Strip (Abdel Kareem Hana/AP)

“With the humanitarian operation near collapse, the secretary-general emphasises that Israeli authorities must facilitate the safe pick-up and delivery of humanitarian supplies from Egypt entering Kerem Shalom,” the spokesperson for UN chief Antonio Guterres said in a statement.

Egypt refuses to reopen its side of the Rafah crossing until control of the Gaza side is handed back to Palestinians. It agreed to temporarily divert traffic through Kerem Shalom, Gaza’s main cargo terminal, after a call between US President Joe Biden and Egyptian leader Abdel Fattah el-Sissi.

The war between Israel and Hamas has killed nearly 36,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between civilians and fighters in its count. Israel blames civilian deaths on Hamas because the militants operate in dense, residential areas.

Around 80% of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have fled their homes, severe hunger is widespread and UN officials say parts of the territory are experiencing famine.

Hamas triggered the war with its October 7 attack into Israel, in which Palestinian militants killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and seized 250 hostages. Hamas still holds about 100 hostages and the remains of around 30 others after most of the rest were released during a ceasefire last year.

By Press Association

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Putin is 'not interested in genuine peace' in Ukraine, Rishi Sunak tells world in Switzerland

Putin is 'not interested in genuine peace' in Ukraine, Rishi Sunak tells world leaders in Switzerland

Eight Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza - as Palestinian death toll reaches '37,000'

Eight Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack since January

Olympic rings on the Eiffel Tower in Paris

IOC gives 14 Russians and 11 Belarusians neutral status for Paris Olympics

The ride got stuck upside down

Horrifying moment people get stuck upside down on theme park ride, as dozens have to be rescued

Muslim pilgrims standing at the top of the rocky hill known as the Mountain of Mercy

Muslim pilgrims converge at Mount Arafat for worship as Hajj reaches its peak

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, arrives at Zurich airport in Switzerland

World leaders to meet at Swiss resort on possible Ukraine peace roadmap

Alex Jones speaking to the media after arriving at court in Houston, Texas, for a hearing in front of a bankruptcy judge on Friday

Judge rules Alex Jones’ assets to be sold to help pay Sandy Hook debt

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa raises his hands in parliament after being re-elected for a second term

Cyril Ramaphosa re-elected as South African president for second term after deal

Co-founder of Ozy Media, Carlos Watson arrives at Brooklyn Federal Court, for an earlier hearing

Google chief gives evidence at fraud trial of Ozy Media founder

Justice Department

US attorney general will not be prosecuted for contempt of Congress

A 12-year-old child was injured at the Valkea shopping centre in Oulu after a stabbing

'Far-right' knifeman attacks two children at Finnish shopping centre, leaving 12-year-old seriously wounded

The leaders of France left-wing coalition for the upcoming election Green Party Yannick Jadot, Communist Party national secretary Fabien Roussel, Socialist Party Secretary General Olivier Faure Presid

France’s leftist alliance leaders vow to ‘extinguish the flame’ of far right

G7 world leaders and other leaders from guest nations attend a working session on artificial intelligence, on day two of the 50th G7 summit in southern Italy

G7 leaders tackle migration, AI and economic security on final day of summit

Cyril Ramaphosa listens as members of parliament are sworn in ahead of an expected vote to decide if he is re-elected as leader of the country

Ramaphosa set for re-election in South Africa after coalition agreement

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky talks to journalists during a news conference in Italy

How 50 billion-dollar loan for Ukraine backed by frozen Russian assets will work

Lynn Conway sitting on a bench at the University of Michigan

Lynn Conway, microchip pioneer who overcame transgender prejudice, dies aged 86