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Displaced Palestinians inspect their tents destroyed by Israel's bombardment, adjunct to an UNRWA facility west of Rafah city,
Gaza Strip, May 28, 2024.  
/ Photo via Voice of America

Costa Rica condemns Israel’s attack on Rafah

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Published on Wednesday, May 29, 2024
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff and wire services

Costa Rica condemned Israel's attack targeting Hamas militants in the southern Gaza city of Rafah killing 45 Palestinians sheltering in a refugee camp there and wounding another 200 on Sunday.

Costa Rica expects a comprehensive and objective investigation into this issue, as well as appropriate transparency and accountability, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement.

"We demand an immediate halt to the attacks, the unconditional and immediate release of the hostages, and respect for and adherence to the norms and principles of International Law, particularly International Humanitarian Law," the authorities stated.

The Ministry has advised nationals to avoid traveling to Israel, Palestine, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Syria, Egypt and Lebanon, because of the conflict that erupted between the countries.

Costa Ricans living in Israel, Palestine, and neighboring nations should stay vigilant and be in contact with the Costa Rican Consulate in Israel.

Authorities established emergency lines in Tel Aviv (00 972) 3-613-5061 and an email address

According to a
report published by Voice of America Journal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that it was a “tragic mistake.”

"Despite our best effort not to harm those not involved, unfortunately, a tragic mistake happened last night. We are investigating the case," Netanyahu told the Israeli parliament. Two senior Hamas militants were killed in the assault.

The U.N. Security Council met Tuesday afternoon in a closed session requested by Algeria to discuss the attack. After the meeting, Ambassador Amar Bendjama told reporters that Algeria plans to circulate a draft resolution shortly on Rafah.

“A short text. A decisive text to stop the killing in Rafah,” he said.

Speaking before the meeting, French envoy Nicolas de Riviere told reporters that Israel must stop its operation following the International Court of Justice ruling and Palestinian groups must stop rocket attacks on Israel.

“This is a matter of life and death,” he said. “This is a matter of emergency.”

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement Tuesday that the “relentless violence” must stop and reiterated his call for a humanitarian cease-fire and the unconditional and immediate release of all hostages.

Gaza medical personnel and residents reported new Israeli airstrikes Tuesday in the area of al-Mawasi on the enclave’s coast, where thousands of people have fled to what Israel has said is a designated "safe zone.”

The Gaza Health Ministry said at least 20 civilians were killed. The Israel Defense Forces denied striking the area.

The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, said Tuesday that more than 940,000 people have fled Rafah in the past three weeks amid Israel’s offensive. Another 100,000 have been displaced by fighting in northern Gaza.

U.N. humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths issued a statement late Monday calling the Rafah attack “utterly unacceptable.” He criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s explanation that what happened was a “tragic mistake.”

“Whether the attack was a war crime or a ‘tragic mistake,’ for the people of Gaza, there is no debate,” Griffiths said. “What happened last night was the latest — and possibly most cruel — abomination. To call it ‘a mistake’ is a message that means nothing for those killed, those grieving, and those trying to save lives,” he added.

"Despite our best effort not to harm those not involved, unfortunately, a tragic mistake happened last night. We are investigating the case," Netanyahu told the Israeli parliament.

Netanyahu has repeatedly said Israel needs to carry out an offensive in Rafah to achieve its goal of ensuring Hamas cannot operate in Gaza and threaten Israel in the future.

Qatar’s Foreign Ministry said Monday the attack could complicate efforts to mediate stalled cease-fire talks and the return of the hostages held in Gaza.

The Israel-Hamas war was triggered by the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel that killed 1,200 people, according to Israeli officials, and led to the capture of about 250 hostages. Israel’s subsequent counteroffensive has killed more than 36,000 Palestinians, a death toll that includes both civilians and combatants, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

Voice of America Journal is the state-owned news network and international radio broadcaster of the United States of America.

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