Blinken urges Israel to ‘immediately investigate’ Rafah attack

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday that Israel should immediately investigate the Rafah incident that killed and injured around 300 people.

“The incident in Rafah was horrific. I don't think anyone who has seen the images cannot be deeply affected by them on a basic human level. We have been very clear with Israel on the imperative in this instance and in other instances to immediately investigate and determine exactly what happened and why it happened. If accountability is necessary, make sure there is accountability,” said Blinken at a joint press conference with Moldovan President Maia Sandu in the capital Chisinau.

Blinken also said that incidents similar to the recent deaths in Rafah highlight the urgent need to develop a post-war plan in the Gaza Strip.

“What weapons were used or how they were used in Rafah should be a product of a deliberate, but also fast, investigation... We see that limited, focused target attacks are designed to deal with terrorists who killed innocent civilians... Even those kinds of operations can have terrible, horrible unattended consequences.

“It is very important at this moment after Israel has real success in helping to destroy Hamas’ capacity to repeat Oct. 7. It has to ask for a plan in Gaza ... In the absence of a plan, how does that stack up against some of the unintended but horrifical coincidences of military action in a place where people you are going after are so closely embedded with civilians?” added Blinken.

According to Blinken, this underscores the importance of having a plan.

A May 26 Israeli strike on a tent camp housing displaced Palestinians in Rafah killed and injured around 300 people, drawing vehement condemnation from around the world.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which in its latest ruling ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its operation in Rafah, where more than 1 million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on May 6.

Meanwhile, during his mini visit to Eastern Europe, Blinken pledged $135 million in aid to Moldova for energy security and to counter Russian disinformation.

The US already assisted Moldova with $774 million in financial aid since the Ukraine war began in February 2022, $300 million of which was earmarked for energy security.

Blinken will travel to the Czech Republic as the next stop of his short trip organized around a NATO foreign ministers meeting in Prague.

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