Civilian Deaths In Rafah Caused By Unexpected Secondary Explosions, Fire: Israeli Army

(MENAFN- IANS) Jerusalem, May 29 (IANS) The Israeli military has said its initial investigation findings indicated that it was unexpected secondary explosions and fire that caused dozens of civilian deaths in its airstrike on Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, on Sunday night.

In a video posted on Tuesday on the website of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), IDF Spokesman Daniel Hagari said that the army had launched a "precise" attack on a structure where two senior Hamas commanders, Yassin Rabia and Khaled Najjar, were located, Xinhua news agency reported. The IDF accused the two Hamas officials of "orchestrating and executing terror attacks against Israelis".

Hagari said that "due to unforeseen circumstances, a fire was tragically ignited, resulting in the loss of lives of nearby Gazan civilians".

He noted that two munitions "with only 17 kilos of explosive material" were used for the strike, "the smallest amount that the IDF jets can use," stressing the army's munition alone "could not ignite a fire of this size."

The investigation was still ongoing to verify the cause of the fire, Hagari said, adding, "We are looking into all possibilities, including the option that weapons stored in a compound next to the original target were the cause of the fire."

Hagari released video and photos of the targeted structure, pointing out that "no tents" were nearby and that the entire area had been evacuated in advance.

The spokesman said the IDF has taken "all measures" in advance to prevent harm to civilians, as "the war is against Hamas, not the people of Gaza".

The Palestinian official news agency WAFA reported that an Israeli airstrike targeted on Sunday evening the tents in a newly established camp for the displaced civilians in Rafah.

The attack, which resulted in the deaths of at least 45 Palestinians and injuries to numerous others, has sparked severe criticism from regional countries and the international community.



Legal Disclaimer:
MENAFN provides the information “as is” without warranty of any kind. We do not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, images, videos, licenses, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained in this article. If you have any complaints or copyright issues related to this article, kindly contact the provider above.