May 28, 2024

US ‘deeply saddened’ by Rafah deaths, says will follow probe closely

US ‘deeply saddened’ by Rafah deaths, says will follow probe closely

Students of Birzeit University in the occupied West Bank lift placards during a protest in support of Gaza on May 28, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas militant group in the Palestinian territory. (Photo by Zain JAAFAR / AFP)

The United States said Tuesday it was “deeply saddened” after an Israeli attack in the Gaza city Rafah left 45 people dead as a blaze tore through a camp for displaced people.

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life in Rafah over the weekend,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters.

The Israeli military “has promised that its investigation will be swift, comprehensive and transparent. We will be watching those results closely,” he said.

“We will continue to emphasize to Israel their obligation to comply fully with international humanitarian law, minimize the impact of their operations on civilians and maximize the flow of humanitarian assistance to those in need.”

Israel’s army said Tuesday its munitions alone could not have caused the deadly blaze in Rafah, adding that it had targeted and killed two senior Hamas militants in the strike.

Miller told reporters that Israel’s preliminary investigation suggested that “the strike was carried out using the smallest bomb in their arsenal, targeting terrorists 1.7 kilometers away from the Al-Mawasi area where this fire took place.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday called it “a tragic accident.”

Vanguard News