Gaza Authorities say 25 Killed by Israeli Strike on Mawasi - The World News

Gaza Authorities say 25 Killed by Israeli Strike on Mawasi

Gaza health officials said that 25 people were killed and 50 wounded on Friday when an Israeli military strike hit tents housing displaced people in Al-Mawasi, a coastal community in the southern Gaza Strip, near the city of Rafah.

The report could not be independently verified, and the Israeli military said “the incident is under review.”

Al-Mawasi contains a zone where the Israeli military has told people fleeing the fighting in Rafah to go for their safety, though such zones have also come under fire during the war. It was unclear from the accounts of Gazan officials whether the attack was within the zone.

The Israeli military said its initial inquiry showed “no indication” of a strike within the safer zone. It did not say whether it had struck elsewhere in Al-Mawasi, but photos and videos emerging from the scene made clear that there had been a strike.

Dr. Marwan Al-Homs, the coordinator of a Red Cross field hospital in Al-Mawasi, said the majority of the casualties taken to the hospital were women and children, as well as some young men.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said its volunteers counted 18 dead and 35 injured people from the attack. Gaza health officials later gave the higher figures of 25 dead and 50 wounded.

It is not clear what the target of the strike was. Hamas and allied groups at war with Israel routinely operate among the civilian population. Israel says civilians suffer casualties as a result when it aims at militants; Palestinians accuse Israel of striking indiscriminately, or even aiming at noncombatants.

Rafah, which borders Egypt, has been the focal point of the Israeli military campaign since early May. About a million people displaced from other parts of Gaza crowded into Rafah earlier in the war, then fled again when the Israeli offensive there began. Many of them went to Al-Mawasi, where aid groups say there is woefully inadequate shelter, sanitation, water and food.

In the past, Al-Mawasi area has also been subject to Israeli strikes, resulting in the deaths of dozens of civilians sheltering in tent encampments.

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