Cameron: IDF probe into Rafah tragedy ‘must be swift and transparent’

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Cameron: IDF probe into Rafah tragedy ‘must be swift and transparent’

Israel is currently investigating a deadly fire in a tent camp in Rafah possibly ignited by an IDF airstrike nearby

David Cameron meets Benjamin Netanyahu
David Cameron meets Benjamin Netanyahu

Foreign Minister David Cameron has urged Israel to conduct a “swift, comprehensive and transparent” investigation into a fire in a tent camp in Rafah that killed dozens of people. 

“Deeply distressing scenes following the airstrikes in Rafah this weekend. The IDF’s investigation must be swift, comprehensive & transparent. We urgently need a deal to get hostages out & aid in, with a pause in fighting to allow work towards a long-term sustainable ceasefire,” he said.

Israel is currently investigating the fire that was caused after IDF launched an airstrike on two Hamas commanders near the tent camp in northern Rafah on Sunday evening.

IDF said they carried out an “intelligence-based precise strike that targeted senior Hamas terrorists in Tal as Sultan (northern Rafah). Contrary to Hamas’ lies and misinformation, the strike did not take place in the Al-Mawasi Humanitarian Area.”

The IDF military advocate general, Yifat Tomer-Yerushalmi, said the “very grave” incident is still under investigation.”

“The IDF regrets any harm to noncombatants during the war,” she added. Prime Minister Netanyahu also commented on the tragedy, saying: “In Rafah, we have evacuated about one million civilians. Tragically, despite our immense efforts to avoid harming non-combatants, an incident occurred yesterday. We are investigating it thoroughly and will learn from it, as is our policy and longstanding conduct.”

A statement from the U.S. National Security Council spokesperson said Israel has a right to go after Hamas, but that Israel must “take every precaution possible to protect civilians. We are actively engaging the IDF and partners on the ground to assess what happened.”

Meanwhile, both the UN, EU, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and a number of other countries condemned the incident, calling on an immediate ceasefire and a halt to the IDF’s operation in Rafah.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said he was “horrified” by the news coming out of Rafah with dozens of displaced persons, including small children, who had reportedly been killed.

“There is no safe place in Gaza. These attacks must stop immediately. International Court of Justice’s orders must be respected by all parties. This is really a dilemma how the international community can… force implementation of the decision,” he added.

The United Nations’ Middle East envoy Tor Wennesland also called on Israel to conduct a “thorough and transparent investigation into this incident, hold those responsible for any wrongdoing to account, and take immediate steps to better protect civilians.”

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