Mideast countries, EU condemn Israel's strikes on Rafah camp

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Mideast countries, EU condemn Israel's strikes on Rafah camp

Cairo, May 28 (IANS) Countries in the Middle East and the European Union have condemned Israel's airstrike on tents housing displaced civilians in northwestern Rafah of the Gaza Strip, which reportedly resulted in the deaths of at least 45 Palestinians and injuries to numerous others.The Israeli airstrike targeted on Sunday evening the tents in a newly established camp for the displaced civilians in the southernmost Gazan city, the Palestinian official news agency WAFA reported. Local security sources said the area was supposed to be safe based on the classification by the Israeli army.

In response to the attack, Hamas has informed mediators that it will not participate in any negotiation for a ceasefire in Gaza or a prisoner exchange deal, a source in the movement said on Monday.

The Qatari Foreign Ministry on Monday issued a strong-worded statement condemning the attack as a severe violation of international laws that would worsen the humanitarian crisis in the besieged Palestinian enclave, Xinhua news agency reported.

It also expressed deep concern that the operation would complicate ongoing mediation efforts and hinder progress toward an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza.

The ministry called on the Israeli authorities to comply with the International Court of Justice (ICJ)'s decision to end military attacks on Rafah, urging the international community to take immediate action to prevent further atrocities and protect civilians.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanaani said the Israeli attack has led to another "horrendous" killing of Palestinian civilians, especially women and children.

In a post on social media platform X, he said the strike was a flagrant instance of "war crimes" and "in conspicuous violation" of the ruling by the ICJ ordering Israel to halt its offensive in Rafah.

Kanaani said whenever Israel faced "humiliating defeats" in the field, it would resort to committing such "insane war crimes" against Palestinian civilians.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday called the deadly strike in Rafah a "massacre."

The operation, which took place amid the ICJ's call for a halt to the attacks in Gaza, "once again exposed the bloody and treacherous nature of the terrorist state," he said on social media platform X.

The Turkish leader also accused the Israeli government of resorting to further bloodshed in a desperate bid to extend its political tenure. "We will do everything in our power to hold these murderers accountable," he said.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) said that "the attack was a crime against humanity and systemized state terrorism requiring accountability by international criminal law", according to WAFA.

The OIC reiterated its call for the international community to assume its responsibilities in obliging Israel to implement the ICJ orders to immediately stop the Rafah offensive.

European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Josep Borrell also issued a stern condemnation. "Horrified by news coming out of Rafah on Israeli strikes killing dozens of displaced persons, including small children. I condemn this in the strongest terms," the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, expressed through social media platform X.

"There is no safe place in Gaza," he said, urging the immediate stop of the attacks and adherence to the orders of the International Court of Justice and international humanitarian law by all parties involved.

The targeted displacement camp in Rafah is located near the warehouses of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

--IANS

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