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Netanyahu calls civilian deaths in Rafah after latest Israeli attacks ‘tragic mistake’

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called an Israeli strike that killed at least 45 Palestinians over the weekend a “tragic mistake” and called for an investigation into the civilian deaths Monday.

The Israeli strike on the Tal al-Sultan neighborhood of Rafah targeted a humanitarian zone filled with tents, where Israel’s military previously instructed displaced Palestinians to shelter from the ongoing war against militant group Hamas, the Gaza Health Ministry said. The Israeli military claimed the strike killed two senior Hamas leaders.

“Despite our utmost efforts not to harm innocent civilians, last night, there was a tragic mistake,” Netanyahu said Monday in an address to Israel’s parliament. “We are investigating the incident and will obtain a conclusion, because this is our policy.”

Gaza health officials said most of the dead were women and children, and noted that the death toll is likely to rise as “countless” were trapped in rubble.

The strike was widely denounced, as criticism rises on the Israeli military operation in Rafah. A White House National Security Council spokesperson told Axios on Monday that the attack was “heartbreaking.”


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