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White House calls on Israel to protect civilians after deadly Rafah airstrike

The United States urged Israel on Monday to take every precaution to protect civilians after "devastating images" from a military strike in Rafah that killed dozens of Palestinians.

Agencies and A News MIDDLE EAST
Published May 28,2024
Palestinians gather at the site of an Israeli strike on a camp for internally displaced people in Rafah on May 27, 2024. (AFP Photo)

The White House strongly urged Israel on Monday to take every possible precaution to protect civilians following a deadly weekend airstrike on a camp for displaced people in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

"The devastating images following an IDF strike in Rafah last night that killed dozens of innocent Palestinians are heartbreaking," a National Security Council spokesperson told Anadolu in a statement.

Emphasizing the importance of safeguarding non-combatants, the statement noted that Israel has the right to go after the Palestinian group Hamas and that two of its members were killed in last night's attack.

"But as we've been clear, Israel must take every precaution possible to protect civilians. We are actively engaging with the Israeli military and other partners to understand what happened regarding the incident," it added.

At least 45 people were killed, mostly women and children, and nearly 250 others injured in the Israeli strike on the camp on Sunday.

The attack occurred near the logistics base of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) in Tal al-Sultan, said the Gaza-based Government Media Office.

Israel has killed more than 36,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip since a cross-border attack by Hamas on Oct. 7 last year.

The military campaign has turned much of the enclave of 2.3 million people into ruins, leaving most civilians homeless and at risk of famine.

The latest attack came despite a ruling by the International Court of Justice that ordered Israel to halt its offensive in Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on May 6.