Israeli Airstrikes on Palestinian Camps Near Rafah Result in Deaths and Injuries

Israel Palestinians

DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip — Israeli forces conducted shelling operations targeting tent camps housing displaced Palestinians situated north of Rafah on Friday. The attacks resulted in the deaths of at least 25 individuals and injuries to another 50, as reported by the Gaza Health Ministry and emergency responders. This latest incident marks another deadly assault in the densely populated Palestinian territory, where hundreds of thousands have sought refuge amidst ongoing conflicts.

According to Ahmed Radwan, a spokesperson for the Civil Defense first responders in Rafah, eyewitnesses informed rescue personnel about the shelling at two distinct locations within a coastal area that has become densely populated with temporary shelters. The Health Ministry has confirmed the casualty figures associated with these attacks.

The locations targeted by the Civil Defense, situated just outside a designated safe zone established by Israel, have been confirmed. The Israeli military has indicated that they are conducting an investigation into the strikes at the reported coordinates. Israel has previously conducted aerial bombardments in the vicinity of the “humanitarian zone” in Muwasi, a rural region on the Mediterranean coast that has witnessed a surge in the establishment of expansive tent camps in recent months.

These strikes coincided with Israel’s ongoing military operation, which has compelled over a million Palestinians to seek sanctuary from the fighting elsewhere in Gaza. While a significant portion of the displaced population has since left Rafah, the United Nations has emphasized that no location in Gaza is safe and that humanitarian conditions are dire. Families are forced to seek shelter in tents and cramped apartments, struggling to access adequate food, water, and medical supplies.

Friday’s attacks occurred less than a month after an Israeli airstrike triggered a devastating explosion that ripped through a camp for displaced Palestinians in southern Gaza, drawing widespread international condemnation. Even some of Israel’s closest allies voiced their outrage over the military’s expansion of its offensive into Rafah.

Israel maintains that its operations are aimed at targeting Hamas fighters and infrastructure, emphasizing its efforts to minimize civilian casualties. The Israeli government attributes the high number of civilian casualties to the actions of militants, asserting that they operate among the civilian population.

With the conflict now stretching into its ninth month, international criticism is mounting against Israel’s campaign of military action in Gaza, which has come at a heavy cost in terms of civilian lives. The International Court of Justice has concluded that there is a “plausible risk of genocide” in Gaza — an accusation that Israel vehemently denies.

Israeli ground offensives and aerial bombardments have resulted in the deaths of over 37,100 people in Gaza, according to the territory’s Health Ministry. The Ministry’s count does not differentiate between combatants and civilians.

Israel initiated the war in response to a series of attacks by Hamas militants, who stormed into southern Israel, killing approximately 1,200 people — primarily civilians — and taking about 250 hostages.