Netanyahu acknowledges ‘tragic mistake’ by attacking Rafah refugee camp

(MENAFN) Following a deadly Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) strike on the densely populated southern Gaza city of Rafah, which resulted in the deaths of at least 45 Palestinian refugees, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has addressed the incident as a "tragic mistake." The strike, intended to target Hamas officials, instead ignited a fuel tank at an encampment housing displaced people, leading to a large fire and significant civilian casualties.

Prime Minister Netanyahu, speaking to Israel’s parliament, expressed regret over the loss of innocent lives despite efforts to avoid civilian harm. He affirmed Israel's commitment to investigating the incident thoroughly, adhering to their policy of accountability in such situations.

The IDF initially claimed that the strike had successfully targeted senior Hamas officials, including the commander of the militant group’s West Bank headquarters. However, subsequent reports revealed the unintended consequences of the attack, shedding light on the tragic loss of civilian lives.

In a separate statement, the Israeli army emphasized the measures taken to minimize harm to civilians, including aerial surveillance, precision munitions, and intelligence gathering. Nevertheless, the unintended outcome has prompted scrutiny and calls for accountability from the international community.

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed outrage over the deaths of refugees, while a spokesperson for the US National Security Council described the images emerging from Rafah as "heartbreaking" and urged Israel to take every possible precaution to protect civilians.

The incident has intensified international pressure on Israel to pursue a comprehensive ceasefire in Gaza or, at the very least, scale down military operations in the densely populated Palestinian enclave. As investigations into the strike continue, questions regarding the effectiveness of targeting procedures and the protection of civilian lives remain at the forefront of the ongoing conflict.



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