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UN: Israel's admission of ‘mistake’ in Rafah means nothing for the martyrs

May 29, 2024 at 1:45 pm

Relatives mourn and cry in front of the bodies of those killed in an attack seen side by side on May 28, 2024 in west of Rafah, Gaza [Hani Alshaer – Anadolu Agency]

UN Humanitarian and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths said in a statement that what happened in Rafah on Sunday night was an “utterly unacceptable attack.”

“What happened last night was the latest – and possibly most cruel – abomination.”

“Whether last night’s attack on Rafah was a war crime or a ‘tragic mistake,’ for the people of Gaza, there is no debate,” he added. “To call it ‘a mistake’ is a message that means nothing for those killed, those grieving, and those trying to save lives.”

Griffiths emphasised he had repeatedly warned that any “military operation in Rafah would lead to a slaughter” and that “no place is safe in Gaza. Not shelters. Not hospitals. Not the so-called humanitarian zones.  He also warned that any military operation in Rafah would lead to a massacre.”

At least 45 Palestinians were killed and dozens injured as Israel targeted a camp for displaced people and houses in the southern Gaza city of Rafah on Sunday, said medical sources and officials.

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

Israel has been waging a brutal offensive against Gaza since October, despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire. The offensive has killed at least 36,000 Palestinians, mainly children and women, and wounded almost 80,000 others.

More than seven months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lie in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the ICJ, which has ordered Tel Aviv to ensure its forces do not commit acts of genocide and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

READ: Israel sends tanks into Rafah on raids amid Gaza-wide offensive