World Court Gaza US

Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike on buildings near the separating wall between Egypt and Rafah, southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday, May 7. Ramez Habboub/Associated Press file

World leaders were swift to condemn Israeli strikes on a tent camp in Rafah late Sunday, which killed at least 45 people and injured dozens, according to Gaza health authorities – focusing further scrutiny on Israel’s controversial offensive in the south.

French President Emmanuel Macron said he was “outraged by the Israeli strikes that have killed many displaced persons” and called for “an immediate cease-fire.”

“These operations must stop,” he added. There are no safe areas in Rafah for Palestinian civilians.”

The European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said he was “horrified by news coming out of Rafah … I condemn this in the strongest terms. There is no safe place in Gaza. These attacks must stop immediately.”

Borrell said the attack underscored the “dilemma” facing the international community over how to enforce Friday’s ruling from the International Court of Justice, which ordered an immediate halt to Israel’s offensive in Rafah. Israel dismissed the order and said its military operations would continue.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the incident “tragic” in an address to parliament Monday but vowed to gain “absolute victory” in Gaza.


Italy’s Defense Minister Guido Crosetto told local media that Palestinians “are being squeezed without regard for the rights of innocent men, women and children who have nothing to do with Hamas and this can no longer be justified,” Reuters reported. Qatar expressed concern that the bombardment would “complicate ongoing mediation efforts and thwart reaching an agreement for an immediate and permanent cease-fire,” as well as the release of Israeli hostages.

Israel’s military confirmed it carried out an airstrike in northwestern Rafah on Sunday night based on “precise intelligence.” The strike killed two senior Hamas officials, it added, including Yassin Rabia, the commander of the group’s operations in the West Bank. A Hamas official confirmed to The Post that two of the members of the group had been killed.

The IDF said in a statement Monday there were “many measures taken before the attack to minimize harm to non-involved people, including using precision weaponry. Based on these measures, no harm was expected to non-involved civilians.”

The incident was being investigated by an “independent body responsible for examining unusual incidents in combat,” the IDF added.

The United Nations’ Middle East envoy, Tor Wennesland, called on Israel to carry out a “thorough and transparent” investigation.

The U.S. State Department said it was aware of the reports and gathering more information, referring The Post to the IDF for comment.


A video posted by local journalists in the immediate aftermath late Sunday showed charred bodies being pulled from the flaming wreckage of the densely packed encampment in the Tal al-Sultan neighborhood.

Muhammad Al-Mughair, a civil defense official in Gaza, told The Post that the makeshift camp was inside Block 2371, which he said was an Israeli-designated humanitarian safe zone for displaced Palestinians.

Residents in the block were not ordered to evacuate ahead of the strikes, and there was confusion on the ground as to whether Israel had designated it a humanitarian zone. Gazans told The Post that Arabic-language pamphlets previously dropped by the Israel Defense Forces over Gaza about safe zones – a key source of information for people there – were imprecisely phrased. Al-Mughair said it was his understanding that the block was included.

The area was not pictured in a map of humanitarian zones provided by the IDF online and in recent announcements. In its statement, the IDF said: “the attack did not take place in the humanitarian area in Al Mawasi, where the IDF called for evacuations.”

At least 800,00 Palestinians have been displaced by Israel’s military campaign in Rafah in recent weeks, and many have fled to Mawasi. But new arrivals have told The Post the area is desolate and devoid of even the most basic services.

Of the 45 people killed in the Rafah strike, about half were women and children, the Gaza Health Ministry reported.


“We are horrified by this deadly event, which shows once again that nowhere is safe,” Doctors Without Borders wrote on X. The medical organization said more than 15 of the dead and dozens of the injured were brought to a trauma stabilization center that it supports.

“Images of burned children & families emerging from bombed tents in Rafah shocks us all,” said Catherine Russell, the head of UNICEF, the U.N. children’s agency.


• Egypt’s armed forces said it was investigating a shooting incident at the Rafah border area Monday that killed a member of its security forces. The IDF confirmed a “shooting incident at the Egyptian border” Monday, which it said it was also investigating. “A dialogue is underway with the Egyptians,” the IDF added.

• The IDF said that eight rockets were launched from Rafah toward central Israel on Sunday and that its Iron Dome defense system intercepted a number of them. Hamas’s military arm, the al-Qassam Brigades, said it had launched projectiles toward Tel Aviv, stating that the move was in response to “massacres perpetrated on civilians.”

• Far-right Israeli settlers have stepped up attacks on aid trucks passing through the West Bank, using a web of publicly accessible WhatsApp groups to track the trucks and coordinate attacks, The Post reported. It comes as humanitarian aid deliveries to Gaza resumed Sunday via Israel’s Kerem Shalom border crossing.


• A U.S. congressional delegation visited Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah El-Sisi on Monday, according to the government’s State Information Service. The cross-party delegation was led by Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.). “The members noted Egypt’s great contribution as a pillar of regional stability,” the statement said and “they expressed their appreciation for the Egyptian efforts to establish peace and security in the region, highlighting the key Egyptian role in promoting efforts aimed at achieving a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip.”

• The IDF said it expanded its operations into eastern Jabalya over the past few days. It said in a Monday statement that its troops in northern Gaza killed militants in close-quarters combat, located large amounts of weaponry, and dismantled an explosives manufacturing facility and tunnel shafts. The Israel Air Force also struck a launch site in Jabalya, the IDF said, from which attacks had been launched toward the Israeli city of Ashkelon during the war.

• The death toll in Gaza has surpassed 36,000 since the war began, according to the Gaza Health Ministry on Monday. At least 36,050 people have been killed and 81,026 injured in Gaza since the war started, the ministry said, which does not distinguish between civilians and combatants but says the majority of the dead are women and children. Israel estimates about 1,200 people were killed in Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack, including more than 300 soldiers, and it says 282 soldiers have been killed since the launch of its military operations in Gaza.


Niha Masih, Heba Farouk Mahfouz, Hajar Harb, Hazem Balousha and Lior Soroka contributed to this report.

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