World Leaders Condemn Israel’s Airstrike on Rafah Refugee Camp

3 mins

Israel is pressing on with military action in Gaza despite a ruling by the ICJ urging tan immediate halt

Global condemnation is mounting after an Israeli airstrike on a refugee camp in Rafah that killed at least 45 people, many of whom were women and children.

Images of charred and dismembered children prompted an outcry and have put ongoing ceasefire talks held in Qatar in jeopardy.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it had targeted senior Hamas militants in a precision strike.

However, the weaponary ignited fires that spread quickly through tents and makeshift shelters, overwhelming a nearby field hospital operated by the International Committee of the Red Cross and overstretched local hospitals.

‘We pulled out people who were in an unbearable state’ said rescue worker Mohammed Abuassa. ‘We pulled out children who were in pieces. We pulled out young and elderly people. The fire in the camp was unreal.’

Global condemnation came from France, Italy, The European Union, and the African Union.

‘These operations must stop,’ French President, Emmanuel Macron, posted on X. ‘There are no safe areas in Rafah for Palestinian civilians. I call for full respect for international law and an immediate ceasefire.’

Several thousand demonstrators gathered in Paris on Monday evening to protest against Israel’s military offensive.

The EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, posted: ‘Horrified by news coming out of Rafah on Israeli strikes killing dozens of displaced persons, including small children. I condemn this in the strongest terms.’

young girls protest against Israel's Gaza agression

Italy’s defence minister, Guido Crosetto, said that such bombings would have longstanding repercussions for Israel.

‘Israel with this choice is spreading hatred, rooting hatred that will involve their children and grandchildren’

Italy’s defence minister, Guido Crosetto

‘Israel with this choice is spreading hatred, rooting hatred that will involve their children and grandchildren. I would have preferred another decision,’ he said.

The head of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said: ‘The state of Israel continues to violate international law with impunity and in contempt of an international court of justice ruling  ordering an end to its military action in Rafah.’

Israel Ignores ICJ Order

The deadly attack  came days after the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to halt its offensive in the city, adding to the unprecedented level of diplomatic pressure that its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing over the war in Gaza.

A top UN official has said the images coming out of the beseiged enclave are ‘testament to how Rafah has turned into hell on earth’.

Philippe Lazzarini, commissioner-general of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), was among the first to condemn the action.

He said some people were ‘reportedly burnt to death’ when a fire broke out immediately after the strike.

Lazzarini said he was dismayed by the ‘lack of implementation of the recent order of the International Court of Justice regarding Rafah’, referring to its ruling for Israel to ‘immediately halt’ its military offensive in the city.

Netanyahu called the strike, which also killed two senior Hamas officials, a ‘tragic error’. But he said he would not end the war in Gaza.

About one million people have fled Rafah over the past three weeks, according to the UN.

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