World leaders condemn Israel over latest deadly attack on Rafah tent camp

In scenes grimly familiar from a war in its eighth month, Palestinian families rushed to hospitals to prepare their dead for burial after the Israeli strike late on Sunday night set tents and rickety shelters ablaze. (Photo/AFP)

An Israeli air strike has killed at least 45 people in a tent camp in the Gaza city of Rafah, medics said, drawing condemnation from global leaders who urged implementation of a World Court ruling to halt Israel's offensive.

The attack took place in the Tel Al-Sultan neighbourhood, where thousands were sheltering after Israeli forces began a ground offensive in the east of Rafah over two weeks ago.

Many of the dead were women and children, the health officials said, adding that the death toll was likely to rise as some were in critical condition with severe burns.

The attack prompted global outcry:


The Turkish president said the Rafah attack exposed Israel's true colours.

"Sunday's attack on Rafah, which came after the International Court of Justice's order, has exposed the treacherous and bloody nature of the terror state," Recep Tayyip Erdogan told lawyers in Istanbul in a televised address, referring to Israel and the ICJ's order to stop the bloodshed.

The president also lashed out at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying: "The embattled Netanyahu and his murderous network trying to extend grip on power by massacring people as they fail to defeat Palestinian resistance."


French President Emmanuel Macron was the latest to voice outrage over the strikes and demanded an "immediate ceasefire."

"These operations must stop. There are no safe areas in Rafah for Palestinian civilians," Macron said on X in English. "I call for full respect for international law and an immediate ceasefire."


Germany's Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and the EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said a ruling by the top UN court on Friday ordering Israel to stop attacks must be respected.

"International humanitarian law applies for all, also for Israel's conduct of the war," Baerbock said.


Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto said attacks against Palestinian civilians in Gaza can "no longer be justified."

"There is an increasingly difficult situation, in which the Palestinian people are being squeezed without regard for the rights of innocent men, women and children who have nothing to do with Hamas and this can no longer be justified," he told Italian TV SkyTG24.


Earlier, Egypt condemned the Israeli military's "deliberate bombing of the tents of displaced people", state media reported, describing it as a blatant violation of international law.

Saudia Arabia

Saudi Arabia also condemned the Israeli attack and said the Rafah strike could hinder efforts to mediate a ceasefire and hostage exchange.


In addition, Ireland's Foreign Minister Micheal Martin slammed the attack, saying: "On top of the hunger, on top of the starvation, the refusal to allow aid in sufficient volumes, what we witnessed last night is barbaric."

"Could I say that, first of all, again, all of this was predicted. All UN agencies and humanitarian groups that I met predicted that any military operation in Rafah would have dire consequences for the population in Gaza. And that is exactly what is happening right now."


Addressing a joint press conference in the Belgian capital Brussels, Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide emphasized the "binding" nature of the ICJ ruling, which ordered Israel to halt its offensive in Rafah.

He stressed that continuing warfare in Rafah constitutes "a breach of international law," highlighting the need for adherence to the ICJ’s "compulsory" measures.

"So it's a serious problem for all of us, because the impression created is that these norms do not apply to everybody, and many people will say that they do not apply to anyone.


Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares also echoed these sentiments, criticising the lack of "diplomatic courtesy" shown by Israel in their recent actions against European diplomats.

He reaffirmed the need for an immediate "ceasefire" and stressed the importance of upholding "international law."

"Yesterday's bombing is one more day with innocent Palestinian civilians being killed. This stresses what we have been calling the three of us, our three countries, for a long time, that it's an immediate ceasefire."



Jordan also denounced the Israeli attack, saying in a Foreign Ministry statement that this action is “a blatant defiance of the decisions of the International Court of Justice and a serious violation of international law and international humanitarian law.”


For its part, Kuwait issued a strong condemnation in response to the recent Israeli aggression on Rafah.

The attack is "an unprecedented genocide and blatant war crimes," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement, calling on the international community to compel Israel to adhere to relevant international legal resolutions, especially the latest ICJ ruling.


Qatar, which is playing a role in mediating truce talks between Israel and Hamas, also decried the Israeli assault on the northern city in Gaza.

"Qatar views this action as a grave violation of international laws and a further exacerbation of the already dire humanitarian crisis in the besieged territory," the Foreign Ministry expressed in a statement.


Israel is pushing ahead with military action in southern Gaza despite a ruling by the ICJ urging the country to immediately halt its push, EU foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said.

The world court ruling must be implemented, Borrell said ahead of an EU foreign ministers' meeting, adding he would also work towards reaching a political decision on the launch of a dedicated EU border assistance mission for the Rafah border crossing known as EUBAM.


The Organization of Islamic Cooperation issued a strong condemnation of Israel following the attack that it categorised as "a war crime, a crime against humanity, and state-sponsored terrorism."

It emphasised the need for Israel's accountability and prosecution under international criminal law.

'No one is doing anything'

In scenes grimly familiar from a war in its eighth month, Palestinian families rushed to hospitals to prepare their dead for burial after the Israeli strike late on Sunday night set tents and rickety shelters ablaze.

Despite a global outcry at the toll on civilians, Israeli tanks continued to bombard eastern and central areas of the city on Monday, killing eight, local health officials said.

"The whole world is witnessing Rafah getting burnt up by Israel and no one is doing anything to stop it," Bassam, a Rafah resident, said via a chat app, of the strike in an area of western Rafah that had bee n designated a safe zone.

Sitting beside bodies of his relatives, Abed Mohammed Al-Attar said Israel lied when it told residents they would be safe in Rafah's western areas. His brother, sister-in-law and several other relatives were killed in the blaze.

"The army is a liar. There is no security in Gaza. There is no security, not for a child, an elderly man, or a woman. Here he (my brother) is with his wife, they were martyred," he said.

"What have they done to deserve this? Their children have been orphaned."


Source: TRT