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IDF Airstrike Targets Two Hamas Officials in Rafah, Dozens of Civilians Burn to Death

The Times of Israel reported that, according to Gaza health officials, Israeli strikes killed some 45 Palestinians last night, mostly through burning to death, while another 60 or so were injured. The Tel Al-Sultan neighborhood in western Rafah, an area designated for displaced people, was hit. The Palestinian Red Crescent says the damage involved “displaced persons’ tents near the United Nations headquarters northwest of Rafah,” and adds that the location had been designated as a humanitarian zone by Israel. The air strikes evidently set fires that engulfed several tents and shelters where thousands of people were taking shelter.

The Israel Defense Force (IDF) first stated on May 26, Sunday evening: “The attack was carried out against terrorists who are a target for attack, in accordance with international law, using precision munitions, and based on intelligence indicating the use of the area by Hamas terrorists.” They identified two officials of Hamas: “Yassin Rabia, the head of the West Bank headquarters, and Khaled Najjar, another senior member of the unit, were killed in the strike.”

The IDF today put forward the narrative that the strike was based on “intelligence information on the presence of the terrorists in the area,” and only after they had carried out “many steps to reduce the chance of harming uninvolved [civilians], including aerial surveillance, the use of precision munitions, and additional intelligence information. Based on [these steps] it was estimated that no harm was expected to uninvolved civilians.”

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