GAZA: Fire rages following a Zionist strike on the Al-Salam camp for displaced Palestinians set up by Kuwaiti charities in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on May 26, 2024. - Reuters
GAZA: Fire rages following a Zionist strike on the Al-Salam camp for displaced Palestinians set up by Kuwaiti charities in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on May 26, 2024. - Reuters

Horror at Kuwaiti Gaza camp

Kuwait slams Zionist occupation’s brutal aggression in Rafah

GAZA: The Zionist entity faced a wave of international condemnation Monday over a strike that killed at least 45 people when it set off a fire that ripped through a tent city for displaced Palestinians set up by Kuwaiti charities. Kuwait’s ministry of foreign affairs condemned on Monday the Zionist occupation’s aggression against displaced people.

In a statement, the foreign ministry asserted that Zionist occupation’s actions against Palestinians exposes its blatant war crimes and unprecedented genocide to the whole world. This calls for immediate and firm intervention by the international community to compel these forces into adhering to international legitimacy resolutions, including International Court of Justice resolution on immediately ceasing aggression against Rafah and protecting the Palestinian people.

The Zionist entity said it was looking into the “grave and awful” impact on civilians after the latest mass casualty event in the Gaza war. The Zionist military said Sunday evening’s attack in the southern Rafah area had targeted and killed two senior Hamas operatives - but it also sparked a fire that Palestinians and many Arab countries condemned as a massacre. A US National Security Council spokesperson said the Zionist entity “must take every precaution possible to protect civilians”.

The UN Middle East envoy Tor Wennesland called on the Zionist entity to conduct a “thorough and transparent” investigation into the strike, as the Zionist military said it was launching a probe. UN human rights chief Volker Turk decried “horrific” images that “point to no apparent change in the methods and means of warfare used by (the Zionist entity) that have already led to so many civilian deaths”.

French President Emmanuel Macron wrote on X that “these operations must stop. There are no safe areas in Rafah for Palestinian civilians.” EU foreign ministers agreed to call a meeting with the Zionist entity to get it to explain its actions in its Rafah offensive despite a UN court order to halt it, said the bloc’s top diplomat Josep Borrell, who called the strike “horrifying”.

Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the government was investigating the “tragic accident” which he told parliament occurred “despite our best efforts” to protect civilians. Zionist government spokesman Avi Hyman earlier said: “It was definitely grave. Any loss of life, civilian live, is grave and is awful. We seek to go after Hamas and limit civilian casualties.”

Relatives of captives held in Gaza, who have increased pressure on Netanyahu’s government demanding action to secure a captive release deal, heckled the premier from the public gallery as he was speaking and raised posters of their loved ones. The Zionist entity launched the attack on Rafah on Sunday evening, hours after Hamas unleashed a barrage of rockets at the Tel Aviv area, most of which were intercepted. The Zionist army said its aircraft “struck a Hamas compound in Rafah” and killed Yassin Rabia and Khaled Nagar, senior officials for the militant group in the occupied West Bank.

Gaza’s civil defense agency said the strike ignited a fire that tore through a displacement center in northwestern Rafah near a facility of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA. “We saw charred bodies and dismembered limbs ... We also saw cases of amputations, wounded children, women and the elderly,” said civil defense agency official Mohammad Al-Mughayyir. “The sky suddenly lit up,” said displaced Palestinian Muhannad, an eyewitness. One survivor, a woman who declined to be named, said: “We heard a loud sound and there was fire all around us. The children were screaming.”

Footage from the Palestinian Red Crescent Society showed chaotic nighttime scenes of paramedics racing to the attack site and evacuating the wounded. Mughayyir said the rescue efforts were hampered by war damage and the impacts of the Zionist entity’s siege. “There is a fuel shortage ... there are roads that have been destroyed” as well as “a shortage of water to extinguish fires”, he said.

“We were praying...and we were getting our children’s beds ready to sleep. There was nothing unusual, then we heard a very loud noise, and fire erupted around us,” said Umm Mohamed Al-Attar, a Palestinian mother in a red headscarf. “All the children started screaming... The sound was terrifying; we felt like the metal was about to collapse on us, and shrapnel fell into the rooms.”

Video footage obtained by Reuters showed a fire raging in the darkness and people screaming in panic. A group of young men tried to haul away sheets of corrugated iron and a hose from a single fire truck began to douse the flames. By daylight, the camp in Rafah was a smoking wreckage of tents, twisted metal and charred belongings. Women wept and men held prayers beside bodies in shrouds.

Sitting beside bodies of his relatives, Abed Mohammed Al-Attar said the Zionist entity 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.

The Zionist attack sparked strong regional protests from mediators Egypt and Qatar as well as from Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Egypt deplored the “targeting of defenseless civilians” and labelled it part of “a systematic policy aimed at widening the scope of death and destruction in the Gaza Strip to make it uninhabitable”. Jordan accused the Zionist entity of “ongoing war crimes”, Saudi Arabia condemned “the continued massacres”, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed “to hold these barbarians and murderers accountable”.

Qatar condemned a “dangerous violation of international law” and voiced “concern that the bombing will complicate ongoing mediation efforts” towards a truce. The African Union chair Moussa Faki Mahamat also condemned the attack on X saying: “(The Zionist entity) continues to violate international law with impunity and in contempt of an ICJ ruling two days ago ordering an end to its military action in Rafah.”

The top world court, the International Court of Justice, on Friday ordered the Zionist entity to halt any offensive in Rafah and elsewhere that could bring about “the physical destruction” of the Palestinians. The Zionist offensive has killed at least 36,050 people in Gaza, mostly women and children.

Philippe Lazzarini, head of UNRWA which has been central to aid operations in the besieged territory during the war, said on X that “with every day passing, providing assistance & protection becomes nearly impossible”. “The images from last night are testament to how Rafah has turned into hell on Earth,” he said, with “heavy movement restrictions”, ongoing Zionist strikes and Hamas rocket launches, and other “challenges ... that do not allow us to distribute aid”.

On Tuesday, Spain, Ireland and Norway are due to formally recognize a Palestinian state — a step so far taken by more than 140 UN members but few Western powers. The Zionist entity opposes the move and on Monday announced punitive steps against Madrid, ordering its consulate in Jerusalem to stop offering services to Palestinians from June 1. - Agencies

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