Israeli forces continue to attack Palestinian shelters, killing civilians in Rafah

Israeli forces take complete control of Gaza-Egypt border in violation of 1979 Camp David Accords and continue to shut the Rafah border crossing, preventing flow of international aidMay 30, 2024 by Abdul Rahman

Palestinian Red Crescent Society treats patients in Rafah (Photo: Palestinian Red Crescent Society)

Israeli tanks have rolled into the center of the Rafah city, with its ground forces attacking civilians in the previously designated “safe zones” indiscriminately. At least 37 more Palestinians were killed in the latest Israeli attacks inside Rafah in the last 24 hours on Thursday, May 30. 

Israeli forces have also been reportedly burning Palestinian homes inside and other civilian infrastructure in the densely populated region, and air bombing and shelling c city. A UN food storage facility was also targeted by Israeli forces in eastern Rafah city.

According to Save the Children, Israel has killed 66 Palestinians in Rafah in the first four days since the International Court of Justice asked it to stop its offensive in the region in an interim order on May 24.    

Meanwhile, Israel also announced it has deployed armed forces across the 14 kilometers border with Egypt known as Philadelphi corridor at Rafah, violating the 1979 Camp David Accords. As per the reports, Israel is planning to build a buffer zone almost a kilometer wide from the border, endangering hundreds of civilians living in the region. 

The Camp David Accords was the basis on which Egypt had become the first Arab country to recognize Israel. 

On Wednesday, at least five people were killed in Tel Al-Sultan, the site of Sunday’s dastardly Israeli attack killing 45 Palestinians, including two paramedics from the Palestinian Red Crescent Society. The PRCS ambulance was on its way to help the victims of an earlier Israeli strike in the locality, Wafa News Agency reported.  

PRCS teams were able to retrieve the bodies of paramedics Haitham Tubasi and Suhail Hassouna, who were targeted by the Israeli occupation last night in the Tel Sultan area west of #Rafah#NotATarget ❌

— PRCS (@PalestineRCS) May 30, 2024

A report in CNN on Wednesday confirmed that Israel used US-made munitions to attack the Tel Al-Sultan camp for displaced Palestinians on Sunday. President Joe Biden had earlier claimed that he would not allow Israel to use US weapons for major offensives inside Rafah.  

Rafah has been the refuge for the majority of Palestinians in Gaza who were forced to leave their homes following the beginning of the Israeli war in October. Over 1.4 million people were taking shelter in the narrow region, which is more than half of the entire population of pre-war Gaza.  

Though it has been bombarding Rafah all throughout the war, Israel launched a ground offensive inside the territory earlier this month defying repeated warnings of the humanitarian disaster it may cause. Israel has completely ignored the international community and even the ICJ which had asked it to halt its assaults and open the border crossing with Egypt which has been shut by its forces for weeks now.

Israeli forces have also targeted and attacked the remaining health infrastructure in the region, forcing one of the last two remaining hospitals, Kuwaiti Hospital, to shut on Monday.

Since its ground offensive, nearly 800,000 Palestinians have been forced to evacuate from Rafah. Most of them have shifted to the western part of the Rafah near the sea where there is hardly any basic amenity such as drinking water, medical care, electricity and sanitation is available. Israeli forces have now started attacking these temporary shelters as well.