Israeli military provides more details on civilian deaths in… | WORLD
Sound journalism, grounded in facts and Biblical truth | Donate

Israeli military provides more details on civilian deaths in Rafah

Smoke billows following an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip. Associated Press/Photo by Leo Correa

Israeli military provides more details on civilian deaths in Rafah

The Israel Defense Forces on Tuesday released more information about the airstrike that allegedly caused a fire that killed dozens of Palestinians near the southern Gaza city of Rafah. Before the strike on Sunday, Israeli forces took all precautions to limit harm to civilians, IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said. A fire then ensued at a nearby refugee camp, killing at least 45 people, according to reports that cited numbers from the Palestinian Red Crescent and the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry. On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the incident a tragic mistake or error in a speech to Israel’s Knesset, or parliament.

What is the IDF saying happened in the strike? Israeli forces carried out a strike that killed two Hamas leaders, the IDF reported. Both leaders, Yassin Rabia and Khaled Nagar, were key Hamas officials in the West Bank, according to the IDF. They were involved in planning attacks that killed Israeli soldiers and citizens, the IDF added. For the strike that killed them, Israeli forces used the smallest bombs their jets could use, Hagari explained. The strike also took place roughly a mile away from a humanitarian zone Israeli forces had ordered civilians to evacuate to and in a different location than where Hamas originally claimed it took place, Hagari added.

How did the fire at the refugee camp start? The fire that erupted damaged structures roughly 200 meters away from the location of the strike and was “unexpected,” Hagari said. The IDF is still investigating how it started. One possibility that Hagari suggested was that ammunition and weapons stored in the area—that Israel did not know about beforehand—could have exploded as a result of the strike and caused the fire. Hamas had previously deployed rocket launchers in the area where it fired at Israeli targets, Hagari said, and that regardless of the exact cause, the incident remained tragic.

Dig deeper: Read my report in The Sift about Netanyahu’s comments on the strike.

Josh Schumacher

Josh is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. He’s a graduate of World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

An actual newsletter worth subscribing to instead of just a collection of links. —Adam

Sign up to receive The Sift email newsletter each weekday morning for the latest headlines from WORLD’s breaking news team.

Please wait while we load the latest comments...