The Israeli attacks were aimed at the eastern part of Rafah, a city that before the war had around 200,000 inhabitants, but where more than 1 million internally displaced people have sought refuge in recent months.
Palestinian health authorities initially reported that twelve people were killed in the attacks, but according to Al Jazeera’s journalist in the city, Han i Mahmoud, another twelve died shortly afterwards on the floor of the city’s hospital.
The hospital is overcrowded, lacks medicine and equipment, and the staff are unable to treat all the wounded who come in.
According to Palestinian health authorities, there were both women and children among those killed that night.
Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced earlier this week an offensive against Rafah, which the UN organization and several countries strongly warn against.
– Rafah is a pressure cooker of despair, and we fear what is to come, said a UN emergency aid office (OCHA) on Friday.
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– This cannot happen, Rafah must not be attacked, said the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the Palestinian territories, Rik Peeperkorn.
Video: The hospital attack arouses strong reactions: – War crimes
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock also warns Israel against attacking Rafah.
– Taking action now in Rafah – the last and most overcrowded place – as Israel’s defense minister announced, simply cannot be justified, she says to the German media group RND.
– Together with our American partners, I have made it clear to the Israeli government that Gaza’s population cannot simply disappear, she says.