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Horror over Rafah Killings Moves Europe Away from U.S., toward Rest of the World

With the latest Israeli atrocity in a tent area near Rafah, and the circulation of photos and videos of the fiery deaths of dozens of Palestinian civilians, the conscience of the world is again tested. Initially, a White House National Security Council spokesperson told the Times of Israel: “We’re aware of the reports about the incident in Rafah and are gathering more information.” Then today, the White House provided a qualified lamenting of the “devastating” and “heartbreaking” images coming out of Rafah. “Israel has a right to go after Hamas, and we understand this strike killed two senior Hamas terrorists who are responsible for attacks against Israeli civilians, but, as we’ve been clear, Israel must take every precaution possible to protect civilians, says a National Security Council spokesperson. “We are actively engaging the IDF and partners on the ground to assess what happened.” Not a mumblin’ word about the U.S. weapons involved—just active engagement to investigate more—which Israel already said it was doing.

Outside of tone-deaf Washington, parts of the world were more outraged. EU high representative for foreign affairs Josep Borrell posted on X today a condemnation “in the strongest terms.... Horrified by news coming out of Rafah on Israeli strikes killing dozens of displaced persons, including small children.” He referred to his previous demand that Israel halt military action, as ordered by the International Court of Justice three days ago. He added: “There is no safe place in Gaza. These attacks must stop immediately. ICJ orders [international humanitarian law] must be respected by all parties,” he wrote. “This is really a dilemma how the international community can… force implementation of the decision.”

The UN Middle East envoy Tor Wennesland said he was “deeply troubled” by the strike in Rafah. His statement said: “I call upon the Israeli authorities to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into this incident, hold those responsible for any wrongdoing to account, and take immediate steps to better protect civilians.”

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), posted on X: “Information coming out of Rafah about further attacks on families seeking shelter is horrifying. There are reports of mass casualties including children and women among those killed. Gaza is hell on earth. Images from last night are yet another testament to that.”

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