Israeli airstrikes targeted Rafah in southern Gaza, resulting in the deaths of 50 people and injuring many others. This escalation follows Hamas’s rocket attacks on Tel Aviv, marking the first such assault in months.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) confirmed the strikes, stating they aimed at a “Hamas compound” where significant Hamas operatives were active. However, Palestinian medics reported that the strikes hit tents housing displaced people, causing extensive destruction and loss of life.

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Hamas condemned the airstrikes, claiming they targeted an area heavily populated with displaced civilians. It is worth noting that Hamas frequently claims civilian casualties in such strikes to vilify Israel on the international stage. The incident occurred in the Tel Al Sultan neighborhood, where thousands had sought refuge from earlier Israeli ground offensives.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society indicated that the death toll might rise as rescue operations continue. They emphasized that the location was designated as a “humanitarian area” by Israel, complicating the humanitarian crisis.

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The IDF asserted that the strike was conducted against legitimate targets in accordance with international law, using precise munitions based on accurate intelligence. They acknowledged reports of civilian casualties and stated that the incident is under review.

On the diplomatic front, the International Court of Justice recently ordered Israel to cease its offensive in Rafah. Israel maintains that its actions are essential for self-defense and for dismantling Hamas’s operational capabilities.

Earlier on Sunday, Hamas’s military wing launched rockets towards Tel Aviv, with Israel’s Iron Dome intercepting several projectiles. This marked the first long-range rocket attack from Gaza since January, although sporadic attacks on border communities have continued.