The Ministry of Health said that at least 35 people were killed in an Israeli air strike on a camp for displaced people in Rafah, hours after Hamas fired rockets into Israel.

Palestinian health sector workers said Israeli air strikes on the city of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip At least 35 people were killed on Sunday and tents for displaced people were bombed in the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, while “many” others were trapped under smoldering rubble. The reported airstrike came hours after Hamas claimed to have fired a barrage of rockets from Gaza towards central Israel as sirens sounded for the first time in months in cities such as Tel Aviv.

The Gaza Ministry of Health said in a statement that 35 people were killed and dozens injured, most of them women and children. The statement said: In light of the attack, “The Ministry of Health confirms that never before in history have such a large number of mass killing tools been collected and employed together in front of the world as is happening now in Gaza,” noting that there is an acute shortage of water, food, medicine, electricity and fuel.

Eyewitnesses told the CBS News team in Gaza that eight airstrikes hit tents in western Rafah., Although the reports cannot be independently verified. Eyewitnesses said that the victims, including civilians, were transferred to the Emirati Hospital. The tents were part of a camp about 200 meters (about 650 feet) from the largest UN warehouse in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli army acknowledged the strike in a statement on Sunday night.

The Israeli army said: “A short time ago, an Israeli army plane bombed a Hamas compound in Rafah in which senior Hamas terrorists were working.” “The strike was carried out against targets lawful under international law, using precision munitions and on the basis of accurate intelligence indicating Hamas’ use of the area. The Israeli army is aware of reports indicating that as a result of the strike a fire resulted in the injury of a number of civilians in the area, and an investigation is currently underway.” In the accident.”

Footage from the scene showed massive destruction, and a spokesman for the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said the death toll was likely to rise as search and rescue efforts continued in the Tal al-Sultan neighborhood in Rafah, west of the city centre.

The association confirmed that Israel has classified the site as a “humanitarian zone.”

A Palestinian boy rides a bicycle in front of a destroyed building in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on May 26, 2024.

Iyad Baba/AFP via Getty Images

The strike comes two days later The International Court of Justice ordered Israel Ending its military attack in Rafah.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant’s office said he visited Rafah on Sunday and was briefed on the “deepening operations” there.

The airstrike was reported hours after Hamas fired a barrage of rockets from Gaza, triggering air raid sirens as far away as Tel Aviv for the first time in months in a show of resilience after more than seven months of a massive Israeli air, sea and land offensive. .

The military wing of Hamas claimed that the attack had taken place, and rocket firing could be heard in central Gaza, according to the Associated Press.

The Al-Qassam Brigades said in a statement on its Telegram channel on Sunday that the rockets were launched in response to what it called “Zionist massacres against civilians.”

The Israeli army said that its air defenses intercepted several missiles after eight missiles were launched from Rafah in the Gaza Strip towards Israel.

Activists fired projectiles at communities surrounding Gaza during the war, but have not fired long-range rockets for months.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage from what appeared to be the first long-range rocket attack from Gaza since January, the Associated Press reported.

The escalation came hours after aid trucks entered Gaza from southern Israel under a new agreement to bypass the Rafah crossing with Egypt. Israeli forces took control of the southern city of Rafah earlier this month. It was not clear whether humanitarian organizations would be able to access aid due to the fighting in the area.

Egypt refuses to reopen its side of the Rafah crossing until control of the Gaza side is handed over to the Palestinians. It agreed to temporarily divert traffic through the Israeli Kerem Shalom crossing, the main shipping station in Gaza, after a phone call between US President Joe Biden and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

Israeli military vehicles driving in the Gaza Strip as seen from southern Israel, Friday, May 24, 2024.

Tsafrir Abayov / A.B

The war between Israel and Hamas, now in its eighth month, has killed nearly 36,000 Palestinians, according to local health officials. About 80% of the population of 2.3 million have fled their homes, severe hunger is widespread, and UN officials say parts of the region are suffering from famine.

Hamas sparked the war with its attack on Israel on October 7, during which its gunmen killed about 1,200 people, most of them civilians, and took about 250 hostage. Hamas is still holding about 100 hostages and the remains of about 30 others after releasing most of the rest during a ceasefire last year.

on saturday, CBS News reported that US diplomatic efforts The process of brokering a deal to release hostages held by Hamas in Gaza is expected to continue next week. Negotiators from Qatar, Egypt and the United States will participate in the talks.

“There is progress,” a senior Biden administration official told CBS News. He added, “Contacts are continuing and we are working closely with the Egyptian and Qatari mediators. These contacts will continue during the next week as part of our endeavor to push the negotiation process forward.”

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