25 killed, 50 injured in Israeli strike on displaced persons' tents in Rafah

At least 25 Palestinians were killed and 50 others injured on Friday when Israeli forces shelled tents housing displaced people in the Al-Mawasi area in western Rafah, southern Gaza Strip.

In a statement, the Health Ministry in Gaza said the death toll from the Israeli attack on tents in the Al-Mawasi area rose to 25, with 50 others injured.

Earlier, medical sources told Anadolu that rescue teams recovered the bodies of 18 victims and provided treatments to 35 injured people after Israeli tanks targeted the displaced persons' camp.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society confirmed the incident in a statement, noting that its medical teams are “handling a large number of casualties following the Israeli shelling in the area."

Two Israeli Merkava tanks positioned on a hill opposite the Shakoush area in western Rafah fired artillery shells at a gathering of displaced people near the gate of the International Committee of the Red Cross field hospital, resulting in multiple casualties, witnesses reported to Anadolu.

Ambulances rushed to the scene to transport the dead and the injured to field hospitals, and rescue operations are ongoing, the witnesses added.

The shelling caused tents to catch fire, spreading fear and panic among the displaced people.

The area witnessed a significant exodus from the tents toward Khan Younis in the north, as described by witnesses.

The Israeli army has been directing Palestinian displaced persons to gather in the Al-Mawasi coastal strip, claiming it to be a “safe zone.”

This area spans 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) along the Mediterranean coast and extends one kilometer inland.

The Al-Mawasi region lacks residential infrastructure, with no sewage systems, electricity lines, or communication networks. Most of the land is divided into agricultural greenhouses or sandy expanses.

The displaced people living in the area face dire conditions, with severe shortages of basic resources such as water, sanitation, medical care, and food.

Israel, flouting a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire, has faced international condemnation amid its continued brutal offensive on Gaza since an Oct. 7, 2023 attack by the Palestinian group Hamas.

The Palestinian death toll from relentless Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip since last October has exceeded 37,400, according to the Health Ministry in the besieged enclave.

More than 85,600 people have also been injured in the onslaught, the ministry added.

Over eight months into the Israeli war, vast tracts of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water, and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which in its latest ruling ordered it to immediately halt its military operation in the southern city of Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on May 6.

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