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Israel promises investigation of deadly Rafah airstrike after international outrage

An Israeli airstrike that left dozens of Palestinians dead in Rafah has prompted Canada's top diplomat to express her horror in seeing strikes claim civilians' lives in the southern Gaza city.

Netanyahu says airstrike that killed at least 45 Palestinians went 'tragically wrong'

Families fled to Rafah for safety — now they fear for their lives

15 hours ago

Duration 1:03

Families from across Gaza fled to Rafah after being told by Israeli forces to move south. After a deadly strike over the weekend, some are asking if they’ll ever find safety again.

An Israeli airstrike that left dozens of Palestinians dead in Rafah has prompted Canada's top diplomat to express her horror in seeing strikes claim civilians' lives in the southern Gaza city.

"We are horrified by strikes that killed Palestinian civilians in Rafah. Canada does not support an Israeli military operation in Rafah. This level of human suffering must come to an end," Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly said in a statement Monday, adding Canada to the list of nations reacting to the deadly event in Gaza.

"We demand an immediate ceasefire," Joly said in the statement, which was posted to the social media platform X, in both English and in French.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier said the deadly Rafah airstrike was not intended to cause civilian casualties and would be investigated.

The strike, which triggered a massive blaze killing 45 people in a tent camp, has prompted an outcry global leaders who urged the implementation of a International Court of Justice ruling last week to halt Israel's assault in Rafah.

WATCH | Israeli opposition leader questions why Netanyahu remains PM:

Israeli PM Netanyahu addresses the Knesset

12 hours ago

Duration 0:58

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke before the Knesset in defence of continued military operations in Rafah, calling unintended civilian deaths tragic. Opposition leader Yair Lapid fired back, questioning why Netanyahu was still Israel's Prime Minister.

"In Rafah, we already evacuated about one million non-combatant residents and despite our utmost effort not to harm non-combatants, something unfortunately went tragically wrong," Netanyahu said in a speech in parliament that was interrupted by shouting from opposition lawmakers.

"We are investigating the incident and will reach conclusions, because this is our policy."

In scenes grimly familiar from a war in its eighth month, Palestinian families rushed to hospitals to prepare their dead for burial after the strike late on Sunday night set tents and rickety shelters ablaze.

Two cleanshaven men, one wearing glasses, embrace in an outdoor photo whose background includes large pieces of debris.

Women wept and men held prayers beside bodies in shrouds.

"The whole world is witnessing Rafah getting burnt up by Israel and no one is doing anything to stop it," Bassam, a Rafah resident, said via a chat app, of the strike in an area of western Rafah that had been designated a safe zone.

Israeli tanks continued to bombard eastern and central areas of the city in southern Gaza on Monday, killing eight, local health officials said.

'No safe place in Gaza'

The attack took place in the Tel al-Sultan neighbourhood, where thousands were sheltering after Israeli forces began a ground offensive in the east of Rafah more than two weeks ago.

More than half of the dead were women, children and elderly people, Palestinian health officials said.

WATCH | Gaza crisis needs urgent action, Singh says:

Singh calls for more efforts to get Palestinians with ties to Canada out of Gaza

12 hours ago

Duration 1:34

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says the situation in Rafah is horrific and the Liberal government needs to take action to prevent a genocide and get more Palestinians with ties to Canada out of Gaza.

French President Emmanuel Macron said he was "outraged."

"These operations must stop. There are no safe areas in Rafah for Palestinian civilians," he said on X.

Antonio Guterres, secretary general of the United Nations, condemned "Israel's actions which killed scores of innocent civilians who were only seeking shelter from this deadly conflict."

"There is no safe place in Gaza.," he said in a statement posted on X. "This horror must stop."

Italy offered one of its strongest criticisms concerning the military campaign in Gaza.

"There is an increasingly difficult situation, in which the Palestinian people are being squeezed without regard for the rights of innocent men, women and children who have nothing to do with Hamas, and this can no longer be justified," Defence Minister Guido Crosetto told SkyTG24 TV.

"We are watching the situation with despair."

LISTEN | Israeli political analyst Dahlia Scheindlin on reaction to ICJ ruling:

The Sunday Magazine16:51How ICJ, ICC moves are playing out in Israel amid war with Hamas

Germany's foreign minister Annalena Baerbock and the EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said a International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling on Friday must be respected. That ruling, unenforceable, called for an end to military operations in Rafah "which may inflict on the Palestinian group in Gaza conditions of life that could bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part."

More than 36,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel's offensive, Gaza's health ministry says, though its totals do not distinguish between combatants and non-combatants.

Israel launched the operation after Hamas-led militants attacked southern Israeli communities on Oct. 7, killing around 1,200 people and seizing more than 250 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

Burned out vehicles and large amounts of debris and clothing are shown on a sandy ground, with adults and children milling around.

Israel intercepts rockets from Gaza

Israel says it wants to root out Hamas fighters holed up in Rafah and rescue hostages it says are being held in the area.

Israeli tanks have probed around the edges of Rafah, near the crossing point from Gaza into Egypt, since May 6 and have entered some of its eastern districts.

It pointed to eight rockets that were intercepted Sunday after being fired from the Rafah area.

But even the United States, Israel's biggest supplier of military weaponry, weighed in on the "devastating images" in Tel al-Sultan.

"Israel has a right to go after Hamas, and we understand this strike killed two senior Hamas terrorists who are responsible for attacks against Israeli civilians," a National Security Council spokesperson said. "But as we've been clear, Israel must take every precaution possible to protect civilians.

WATCH l Trudeau, on Friday, on what's vitally needed in Gaza:

PM says there should be 'no more' Israeli military operations in Rafah

4 days ago

Duration 2:29

Speaking after the International Court of Justice ruled that Israel should halt military operations in the southern Gaza community of Rafah, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said there should be no escalation in the area by Israel and called for immediate access to more aid.

Egypt and Saudi Arabia also condemned the Israeli attack, while Qatar said it could hinder efforts to mediate a ceasefire and hostage exchange.

After Friday's ICJ ruling, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it was important there not be any "escalation of military operations in Rafah," while stressing the need for much more humanitarian aid to reach Gaza to stave off starvation and famine.

'Their children have been orphaned'

Sitting beside bodies of his relatives in Gaza, Abed Mohammed Al-Attar said Israel lied when it told residents they would be safe in Rafah's western areas. His brother, sister-in-law and several other relatives were killed in the blaze.

"The army is a liar. There is no security in Gaza. There is no security, not for a child, an elderly man or a woman. Here he [my brother] is with his wife, they were martyred," he said.

"What have they done to deserve this? Their children have been orphaned."

Two men and a women are shown walking on a sandy area while carrying items.

Hospitals in Rafah, including the International Committee of the Red Cross field hospital, were unable to handle all the wounded, so some were moved to hospitals in Khan Younis further north in Gaza for treatment, medics said.

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Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

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