The Israeli occupation forces launched a violent bombardment on Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, killing 63 civilians, including children, and wounding dozens of others, on the 129th day of the Israeli war on the besieged Gaza Strip. The occupation said that it targeted “specific” sites in the Shaboura area in Rafah and that it rescued two Israelis in a special operation.
These attacks came despite Arab and international warnings against the Israeli occupation invading Rafah, amid calls for urgent action by the UN Security Council to prevent any Israeli incursion into Rafah, where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fleeing the bombing have taken shelter.
US President Joe Biden, during a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, did not object to the invasion of Rafah but only set some conditions, which was seen as a US green light for the occupation to carry out its threat to invade the city.
The government media office in Gaza said on Monday that the Israeli occupation army committed a horrific massacre in the city of Rafah this morning, killing more than 100 people, all of them civilians, children, and women, of whom about 80 arrived in hospitals.
The media office confirmed in a statement that the occupation had a premeditated plan to commit the massacre, as it bombed, destroyed, and targeted 24 civilian houses and several mosques and institutions in an area densely populated with civilians, children, and women, without considering the presence of about one and a half million displaced people in the city.
The Palestinian presidency called on the international community, especially the US administration, to act urgently to force the Israeli occupation authorities to stop the Israeli advance towards the city of Rafah.
The official spokesperson for the Palestinian Presidency, Nabil Abu Rudeina, said in a press statement: “The US administration must not be a hostage of Israeli policy, especially since the region is at a crossroads, and the continuation of the war against the Palestinian people will lead to its regional expansion.”
He called for an immediate end to the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people and the massacres in the Gaza Strip.
Abu Rudeina said: “Netanyahu’s talk about safe passage for citizens is pure nonsense and a deception to the world, because there is no safe place in the Gaza Strip, and citizens cannot return in light of the continuous bombing of the center and north of the Strip, and the occurrence of a new Nakba and forced displacement outside the Strip is unacceptable and will not happen.”
The European Foreign Policy Coordinator Josep Borrell defended the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). Borrell stressed the need to verify allegations of activity by the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in UNRWA, adding, “It is no secret to anyone that the Israeli government wants to get rid of UNRWA.”
He explained that he thinks that the Israeli government wants to get rid of UNRWA so that it does not deal with the needs of Palestinian refugees.
Israeli media reported that the Israeli army fell into a complex ambush southeast of Khan Yunis, and said that it took several hours to evacuate the casualties.
The Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, claimed: “We killed 10 occupation soldiers at point zero” in the Abasan al-Kabira area, east of Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip.
The Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad Movement, also said that its fighters set up a comprehensive ambush on Monday for an Israeli force in the Ma’an area, southeast of Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip.
They said: “Our fighters surprised the force with machine guns, anti-personnel shells, fortifications, and explosive devices, causing deaths and injuries among them.”