Palestinians Flee as Another Israeli Strike Kills Over 21 in Rafah Refugee Camp

Tue May 28 2024
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RAFAH: Palestinians are fleeing ongoing Israeli violence as Gaza’s civil defence agency said another Israeli strike killed at least 21 people at a displacement camp west of the southern city of Rafah on Tuesday, days after a similar strike that sparked global outrage, AFP reported.

The strike, which targeted tents housing displaced Palestinian civilians, adds to the escalating violence that has already over 36,096 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and sparked global outrage.

According to Mohammad al-Mughayyir, a senior official at Gaza’s civil defense agency, the Israeli strike specifically targeted the tents of displaced people in Rafah, resulting in a devastating loss of life. He said 21 people had been killed in an “occupation strike targeting the tents of displaced people west of Rafah”.

This latest assault comes in the wake of a similar strike on Sunday that engulfed a crowded displacement camp in Rafah, killing 45 Palestinian people and drawing condemnation from around the world. Despite international calls for restraint, Israel has continued its offensive on Rafah, disregarding the safety of the 1.4 million Palestinian civilians who were sheltering in the city.

The mounting casualties and widespread displacement have plunged Gaza into a state of despair and desperation, with around one million civilians fleeing the city in recent weeks, according to the United Nations Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA). The exodus underscores the severity of the crisis and the urgent need for humanitarian intervention to alleviate the suffering of innocent civilians caught in the crossfire.

Reports from the ground paint a grim picture of the situation in Rafah, with residents fleeing the city in fear as Israeli forces escalate their ground assault. Families are forced to abandon their homes and belongings, seeking refuge in neighboring areas in a bid to escape the relentless Israeli bombardment and shelling.

Despite the challenges faced by humanitarian agencies and emergency responders, efforts to evacuate the injured and provide assistance to those in need continue amid the ongoing brutalities. However, access to affected areas remains limited due to the presence of Israeli military forces.

Since October 7 last year, Israel has launched a relentless bombardment campaign in Gaza killing at least 36,096 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the territory’s health ministry.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Palestinians braved roads in Rafah in south Gaza Tuesday as they fled Israel’s expanding ground assault, with increased shelling, tanks in the city centre, and forces positioned on higher ground.

“We are panicking and afraid,” 40-year-old Ihab Zorob of west Rafah told AFP.

“Our children and wives haven’t stopped crying. The bombing last night and throughout the morning has been intense and severe,” he said.

“Seeing people flee has made us more afraid, so we’ve decided to seek shelter in Al-Mawasi (on the coast). Hopefully, we’ll find space there.”

Rafah city on the Palestinian territory’s southern border with Egypt has been under Israeli ground assault since early May.

UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, said that one million civilians had fled Rafah since the ground attack went ahead despite a chorus of international warnings.

On Tuesday, people were carrying what belongings they could as they fled western Rafah’s Tal al-Sultan, where a strike on Sunday that killed 45 people.

The more fortunate transported piles of mattresses and blankets and dozens of children on the back of trucks, while others carried what they could in rubbish bags, or walked with rolled-up mattresses on their heads.

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