Israeli forces have bombed a tent camp housing displaced people in a designated safe zone in Rafah, killing at least 50 Palestinians. The majority of the victims were women and children, according to local officials. This attack on the Tal as-Sultan area is part of a broader campaign of airstrikes over the past 24 hours. The campaign targeted shelters in Jabalia, Nuseirat, and Gaza City, killing at least 160 people, Palestinian sources reported.

Local sources reported that at least eight missiles struck the tent camp, which was near a UNRWA warehouse. Dr Mohammed al-Mughayyir, head of Gaza’s Civil Defence teams, described the aftermath of the attack, where it took about 45 minutes to extinguish the fire. The bodies of the victims were charred, and the injured suffered severe wounds, with some losing limbs.

The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) stated that many people inside the tents were burned alive. The organisation reported that the local hospitals are overwhelmed and unable to cope with the number of victims. PRCS also indicated that the death toll might rise as search and rescue efforts continue. Despite the area being marked as a humanitarian area by Israel, it faced significant attacks.

The Israeli military confirmed the Rafah attack, stating that it aimed at Hamas fighters with precision weaponry. The military also acknowledged that civilians were harmed when a fire broke out during the strike and noted that an investigation is underway. The attack followed a Hamas rocket barrage at Tel Aviv, resulting in heavy destruction, as captured in footage from the scene.

Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, who was briefed on the “deepening of operations” in Rafah, highlighted the IDF’s goal to eliminate Hamas’s military infrastructure.

Amnesty International is urging the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate previous Israeli attacks in April that killed 44 Palestinian civilians, including 32 children. The attacks include the 16 April strike on children playing foosball at the Maghazi refugee camp and strikes on residential buildings in Rafah on 19 and 20 April. These attacks lacked evidence of military targets or prior warnings.

Nour Odeh, a Palestinian political analyst, said the sense of insecurity among Gaza’s residents, who are struggling to find food, water, and shelter. “People in Gaza feel that nowhere is safe,” Odeh said, highlighting the unreliability of the medical services due to systematic assaults and the decimation of Gaza’s health infrastructure.

The International Court of Justice has issued a third set of orders in response to the ongoing situation. Odeh predicted that governments would likely condemn the attack but pointed out the critical role of the US stance at the UN Security Council. She suggested that arms embargoes and economic sanctions might be necessary to halt violence.

Amnesty International’s senior director, Erika Guevara-Rosas, called for an immediate ceasefire. The ICC Prosecutor is seeking arrest warrants for senior Israeli and Hamas officials, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for documented patterns of unlawful attacks.

US intelligence officials are attempting to restart negotiations, but progress remains uncertain.

Senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri described the Rafah attack as a “massacre” and accused the United States of supporting Israel with weapons and financial aid. The ongoing conflict has displaced approximately 1 million people in Gaza, with aid deliveries halted due to intense fighting blocking critical border crossings.

Since the start of its assault on Gaza on 7 October, Israel has killed at least 35,984 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and wounded up to 80,643.