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By Mae Slater on
 May 28, 2024

AOC Condemns Israel's Rafah Strike as 'Inexcusable Tragedy'

At least 45 people were killed over the weekend in Rafah due to an Israeli military strike, which targeted a humanitarian zone. This incident has drawn widespread criticism and has been described as a tragic mistake by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Hill reported that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) referred to the event as "an indefensible atrocity," expressing her condemnation of the Israeli Defense Forces's actions. The area hit was designated as a humanitarian zone by the international community and was filled with tents used by displaced Palestinians following directions from the Israeli military.

According to the Israeli military, the strike was intended to target two senior Hamas leaders.

Despite this claim, the incident has raised significant concern as the affected zone was meant to be a safe area for civilians. The attack was undertaken despite a ceasefire call from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and opposition from President Biden’s administration.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the incident as a "tragic mistake" and promised a thorough investigation into the civilian casualties. Following the assault, Netanyahu admitted, "Despite our utmost efforts not to harm innocent civilians, last night, there was a tragic mistake."

International Reactions Emerge

The ICJ had previously ordered Israel to halt operations in Rafah, the last significant settlement in Gaza that the IDF had not invaded. The attack has drawn criticism from various international leaders.

French President Emmanuel Macron has called for an immediate ceasefire, stressing that there are no safe areas in Rafah for civilians. Macron emphasized the necessity for a full respect for international law.

A White House National Security Council spokesperson described the strike as “heartbreaking” and reiterated that Israel has a right to pursue Hamas but must take every possible precaution to protect civilians. The spokesperson added, "We are actively engaging the IDF and partners on the ground to assess what happened."

More than half of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents are currently displaced, with many seeking refuge in Rafah. The United Nations has reported instances of famine in several parts of Gaza as civilians struggle to secure humanitarian aid, exacerbating the region’s already dire situation.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez commented further on the strike, criticizing it as being in "defiance of President Biden’s red line and the ICJ’s call for a ceasefire." She added that it is "long past due" for Biden to stop military aid shipments to Israel, reaffirming her stance for more rigid American policies in response to the violence.

Following the IDF’s strike on Rafah, pressure from the international community has increased. The incident has fueled global criticism of Israel's military actions in Gaza. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks underscore the ongoing debate in the United States regarding its policies and support concerning the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Despite the backlash, the Israeli military has continued its advance on Rafah, disregarding warnings from the Biden administration. The determined advance has left many questioning the effectiveness of international diplomacy in resolving the ongoing crisis.

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s call for an investigation highlights internal and external pressures facing Israel to address the issue of civilian casualties. Netanyahu reiterated, "We are investigating the incident and will obtain a conclusion, because this is our policy."

As the investigation proceeds, international watchers will be closely monitoring Israel's adherence to international laws and the outcomes of its internal review processes. The U.S. government, along with various human rights organizations, is expected to play a significant role in scrutinizing the IDF’s actions and ensuring accountability.


In conclusion, the recent Israeli military strike on Rafah, resulting in at least 45 civilian deaths, has ignited international condemnation and calls for immediate ceasefire and accountability.

The attack on a humanitarian zone has underscored the ongoing crisis in Gaza, prompting figures like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and President Emmanuel Macron to demand action. As investigations begin, the global community continues to grapple with the severe humanitarian and political implications of the conflict.

Written By:
Mae Slater

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