Netanyahu calls Israeli strike that killed dozens in Gaza tent camp ‘tragic’

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Several individuals lost their lives in Rafah in southern Gaza on Sunday night in an Israeli airstrike on an area where displaced civilians had taken shelter in tents. The airstrike caused a fire that spread through the camp, according to local officials.

TOPSHOT – Palestinians gather at the site of an Israeli strike on a camp for internally displaced people in Rafah on May 27, 2024, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas militant group. The Palestinian Authority and the militant group Hamas said Israeli strikes on a centre for displaced people killed dozens near the southern city of Rafah on May 26, while the Israeli army said it had targeted Hamas militants. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP) (Photo by EYAD BABA/AFP via Getty Images)

Images depicted the region consumed by flames as terrified Palestinians ran for safety, with some distressing videos circulating on social media showing severely burnt bodies and a man holding what seemed to be the lifeless body of a young child without a head.

The airstrike was met with criticism from global leaders shortly after the United Nations’ highest court instructed Israel to cease its offensive in the southern Gaza city, where over a million people had sought refuge.

In a speech to the Knesset on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu referred to the strike as “a tragic incident,” his office stated, clarifying remarks made in Hebrew that could be interpreted in English as either “a tragic mishap” or “a tragic mistake.”

“We are looking into the matter and will draw conclusions because that is our protocol,” he mentioned.

As international condemnation grew, the Israel Defense Forces initially stated that they had targeted two senior Hamas leaders, did not hit a designated humanitarian zone, and had taken precautions to minimize the risk to civilians. They announced that a thorough investigation would be carried out into “the deaths of civilians in the vicinity of the strike.”

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