Hamas munitions likely caused fire in Rafah DP camp, says Israel

The Sunday night airstrike killed Hamas commanders Yassin Rabia and Khaled Nagar in a compound in the Rafah neighborhood of Tel Sultan. The pair were responsible for coordinating and funding terror attacks in Judea and Samaria.


ANI | Updated: 29-05-2024 10:04 IST | Created: 29-05-2024 10:04 IST
Hamas munitions likely caused fire in Rafah DP camp, says Israel
An Israeli Air Force fighter jet (Photo/TPS). Image Credit: ANI
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Tel Aviv [Israel], May 29 (ANI/TPS): A fire at a displaced persons camp in Rafah following an airstrike was likely caused by Hamas munitions, according to a preliminary military investigation, the Israel Defense Forces said on Tuesday. The Sunday night airstrike killed Hamas commanders Yassin Rabia and Khaled Nagar in a compound in the Rafah neighborhood of Tel Sultan. The pair were responsible for coordinating and funding terror attacks in Judea and Samaria.

According to the IDF, the area of the compound had been used for Hamas activities. Just 47 meters away from the site of the strike was a rocket launcher and launching pit. The compound was one kilometer away from the humanitarian zone and the IDF said it used two small munitions to prevent collateral damage in the nearby camp. The IDF stressed that the 17-kilogram warheads used were not powerful enough on their own to trigger the fire. The military believes the fire was likely caused by secondary explosions from Hamas munitions or some other material it was not aware of.

"We have a suspicion, following intelligence surveillance and analysis of the videos from the event that were distributed on social networks, that secondary explosions at the site were caused by Hamas ammunition storage. This suspicion is under investigation," the IDF said. The IDF also released a recording of two Rafah residents specifically saying the fire was caused by Hamas explosives.

"They say that they [the Hamas commanders killed] sat in a meeting, and that there is [a facility] and in addition, there was ammunition that began to explode. Bags of money scattered in the air," one Palestinian said. Asked if the exploding ammunition "is really ours," the first Palestinian replied, "Yes, it is an ammunition depot. The bombardment by the Jews was not strong. It was a small missile, because it did not create a large hole. And then explosions began."

Gaza's Hamas-run Health Ministry claims the fire killed 45 Palestinians, a number that has not been independently verified. Meanwhile, the UN Security Council is due to hold a closed-door emergency meeting on Wednesday to discuss the situation in Rafah.

The attack also came against the backdrop of a ruling by the International Court of Justice on Friday whose ambiguous wording is unlikely to curtail military activity in Rafah. Rafah sits on the Gaza-Egypt border and is Hamas's last stronghold with an estimated four battalions. Israel's delegation of the ICJ told the judges that of the 700 tunnels located in Rafah by the army, approximately 50 crossed into Egypt. Those tunnels are used for weapons smuggling and could also be used to take hostages out of the Strip.

Israel took control of the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing on May 7 to prevent Hamas from commandeering humanitarian aid deliveries from Egypt. At least 1,200 people were killed, and 252 Israelis and foreigners were taken hostage in Hamas's attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border on October 7. Of the 125 remaining hostages, 39 are believed dead. (ANI/TPS)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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