Israel denies responsibility for attack on refugee tent encampment in Rafah

Israel denies responsibility for attack on refugee tent encampment in Rafah

At least 21 displaced civilians killed in Israeli shelling of refugee tents in al-Mawasi area west of Rafah

By Zein Khalil

JERUSALEM (AA) – The Israeli army on Tuesday denied responsibility for the killing of at least 21 displaced Palestinians west of Rafah.

At least 21 people were killed on Tuesday in Israeli shelling of a refugee tent encampment in al-Mawasi area west of Rafah, in the third such attack on areas designated by Tel Aviv as a “safe zone” in the last 48 hours, the Rafah Emergency Committee said.

The targeted tent encampment is located around 100 meters away from a US field hospital west of Rafah, according to Palestinian sources.

“Contrary to the reports from the last few hours, the IDF (army) did not strike in the Humanitarian Area in al-Mawasi,” military spokesman Daniel Hagari claimed in a statement.

Despite the international outcry, the Israeli army renewed its attacks on the Tel al-Sultan area in Rafah early Tuesday, resulting in the deaths of seven Palestinians and the injuries of others.

The attack came after at least 45 civilians were killed and dozens injured in an Israeli strike on a tent encampment in Tel al-Sudan on Sunday.

According to Gaza’s government media office, at least 72 displaced civilians were killed in Israeli attacks on refugee tents in Rafah in the last 48 hours.

Israel expanded its ground offensive in Rafah on Tuesday, with its tanks reaching the center of the city.

Israel's current expansion of its incursion into the city makes the Israeli army close to fully control the border area between Gaza and Egypt, known as the Philadelphi Corridor, a demilitarized buffer zone running along the Gaza-Egypt border.

The Israeli army has so far seized control of almost two-thirds of the corridor area as it advances under heavy bombardment and shelling.

Israel has continued its brutal offensive on the Gaza Strip since Oct. 7, 2023 following a Hamas attack despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire in the enclave.

Nearly 36,100 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, the vast majority being women and children, and over 81,000 others injured, according to local health authorities.

Nearly eight months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel stands accused of “genocide” at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which in its latest ruling has ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its operation in Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on May 6.

*Writing by Mohammad Sio

Israel denies responsibility for attack on refugee tent encampment in Rafah

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