A Palestinian woman holds the shrouded body of child killed in Israeli bombardment, at a health clinic in the area of Tel al-Sultan in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on May 26, 2024. (Credit: Eyad Baba/AFP)


At least 21 killed in new Israeli strikes on displacement camp in Rafah: Day 235 of the Gaza war

What you need to know

Israel continues to bomb Rafah despite condemnations the previous day of the strike that killed 45 people, while the army's tanks have reached the city's center.

The UN Security Council is set to meet over Israel's airstrike on Rafah on Sunday, later this evening.

Canada says it will issue visas for 5,000 Gazans.

Spain, Norway and Ireland recognize the State of Palestine.

21:37 Beirut Time

That's it for today's live coverage of the war on Gaza and the ongoing fighting between Israel and Hezbollah across the southern Lebanese border. Thanks for joining us. We'll be back tomorrow morning with more news updates and analysis — Goodnight!

21:21 Beirut Time

Updates from southern Lebanon:

• Hezbollah announced an attack on the Israeli “Samaka” site in the Kfar Shuba hills. It also targeted Israeli soldiers gathered near the Israeli site of “Raheb,” located opposite the Lebanese village of Aita al-Shaab, in Bint Jbeil district, claiming to have "inflicted injuries.”

• Israeli warplanes raided the village of Naqoura, a security source told our correspondent in the South. Two Israeli rockets fell in the area of the old mosque. Ambulances were dispatched to the scene. According to initial reports, no one was injured in the attack.

• Al-Rissala Scouts Association, affiliated with the Amal Movement, announced in a statement that first responders from its medical teams participated in rescue operations following the strike on Naqoura. "Injuries were treated on the spot and one citizen was evacuated," the medical association said. According to our correspondent in southern Lebanon, the Israeli strike targeted a three-story building and left three people slightly injured.

21:16 Beirut Time

Israeli parliament has approved extending, until the end of the year, a temporary order that allows for prisoners to be held in conditions exceeding the minimal living space allowed in prisons, Haaretz reports. Thirteen MPs supported the proposal and seven opposed.

According to the document detailing the proposed extension, from the start of the war until May 9, 2024, the number of prisoners increased by more than 4,800 – standing on the day of its drafting at 21,163 prisoners.

"This sharp increase in the number of incarcerated people in such a short period of time has led to an acute prison emergency, which requires, as mentioned, the continued extension of the curfew and the adaptation of the law ... in order to allow the reception of additional detainees from the security forces," the proposal reads.

In late April, the government approved a British request to allow foreign observers to visit Palestinian detainees held in Israeli prisons after UK FM David Cameron threatened to cut arms supplies. Palestinians released from detention have shared their experiences of abuse, torture, and sexual assault at the hands of Israeli prison guards. 

21:08 Beirut Time

The United States says it is "deeply saddened" by the Israeli attack on a displacement camp in Rafah that killed 45 people on Sunday.

"We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life in Rafah over the weekend," State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters.

The Israeli military "has promised that its investigation will be swift, comprehensive and transparent. We will be watching those results closely," he said.

"We will continue to emphasize to Israel their obligation to comply fully with international humanitarian law, minimize the impact of their operations on civilians and maximize the flow of humanitarian assistance to those in need."

The US has been vocally critical of Israel's invasion of Rafah, with seemingly little effect.

21:05 Beirut Time

During a visit to the northern frontier with Lebanon earlier today, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said his government had passed a decision to allocate NIS 6.5 billion (USD 1.76 billion) for the country’s northern residents — for aid, “rebuilding communities and assisting them,” according to a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office.

“Our hand is still extended afterward because we are committed – in both the civilian and military spheres – to returning the residents safely to their communities and their homes,” Netanyahu told Golani Brigade Reconnaissance Unit fighters. “This commitment is one of the objectives of the war and we are not conceding it.”

Israeli attacks on Lebanese territory have gone increasingly further inland, deviating from the unspoken rules of engagement between the country and Hezbollah that usually dictate fighting as happening within around 10 kilometers of the shared, but disputed border.

Tens of thousands of Israeli have been evacuated from the northern areas and are often vocal about their frustration in being still unable to return.

20:36 Beirut Time

The Israeli army has denied launching an air strike on a "humanitarian area" in western Rafah, after Gazan officials said an Israeli raid had killed at least 21 people at a displacement camp in the area earlier today.

"The [Israel army] did not strike in the humanitarian area in al-Mawasi," the army said in a statement, referring to an area that had been designated for displaced people of Rafah to shelter when the military launched its ground assault on May 7.

Video footage from the attack's aftermath shows bodies strewn about among the tents and people scrambling to tend to the wounded.

20:31 Beirut Time

"To be honest, the situation in Rafah is very chaotic after the bombing which took place [on Sunday] in the so-called 'humanitarian area,'" reports Mohammad al-Khatib, who is based in Deir el-Balah, and is the senior program manager in Gaza for Medical Aid for Palestinians.

The NGO relayed a voice message from Khatib to L'Orient Today, explaining the situation on the ground. "People don't know where to go. On the ground, Israeli ground troops are advancing into new locations, in the Tal al-Sultan area. There was a medical stabilization point that they needed to evacuate from Tal al-Sultan because of the troops' advancement. People don't know where to go or what to do. They don't know if it's safe to move within the humanitarian zone. The situation, the bombing, everything is escalating quickly, and people are not being warned or notified [before the attacks]."

19:53 Beirut Time

The United States military has been forced to suspend aid deliveries into the Gaza Strip by sea after its temporary pier system off Gaza's coast suffered damage in bad weather, NBC News reports, citing a United Nations official, a US official and an Israeli official.

The damage was to a causeway that is attached to the beach in Gaza, the officials said. Aid is shuttled onto the causeway by small boats after being initially unloaded onto a massive floating dock. The UN official said it could take a week to repair.

An official announcement from the US is expected later today, NBC reports. US Central Command declined to comment when contacted by the American news outlet.

19:46 Beirut Time

The University of Copenhagen announced it will halt investment in companies that do business in the occupied West Bank amid student protests pressuring the campus to cut financial and institutional ties with Israel.

Hundreds of students began campus protests in early May to express their opposition to Israel's operations in Gaza that were triggered by the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel. The students have demanded that the university cut academic ties with Israel and divest from companies operating in occupied Palestinian territories.

The university will, as of May 29, divest its holdings worth a total of about 1 million Danish crowns ($145,810) in Airbnb, and eDreams, it said in a post on social media platform X.

👉 Read the full report here.

19:25 Beirut Time

Hezbollah's Secretary General condemned Sunday's deadly Israeli strike on a camp for displaced persons in Rafah, which killed more than 40 people, saying, "The masks have fallen off this horrible genocide."

"The carnage at Rafah confirms the monstrosity of the [Israeli] enemy and its betrayal," the party leader stressed in a speech broadcast live on the al-Manar channel. "The enemy asked the people of Gaza to go to this region to be safe, but it then bombed them there."

Nasrallah said Israel was "defying the international community and the International Court of Justice, which has ordered a halt to the attack on Rafah," referring to the ruling handed last week regarding additional measures against Israel — which Israel has blatantly ignored.

"We condemn this horrific carnage, which must prompt the countries of the world to put pressure on Israel to stop its aggression against the people of Gaza."

19:19 Beirut Time

A young boy, injured in Gaza, was received this morning at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUB) — the first child to arrive in Lebanon for treatment following the outbreak of Israel's war on the enclave.

A statement released Tuesday by the Ghassan Abou Sitta Fund and the Palestine Children's Relief Society, says the five-year-old child sustained injuries to one of his upper limbs due to the ongoing Israeli aggression against Palestinians in Gaza, and that his arrival at AUB medical center "marks the beginning of a mission to treat war-wounded children in Lebanon."

👉 Read the full report here.

17:59 Beirut Time

Photo sent to our correspondent in southern Lebanon, Muntasser Abdallah.

Updates from southern Lebanon:

• Rescue workers from al-Risala Scout Association said in a statement that they had taken part in firefighting operations in Labbouneh, in Sour district, following Israel’s continual use of white phosphorous bombs on southern Lebanon.

• The Salah Ghandour hospital in Bint Jbeil organized a tribute to one of the two victims of Monday's Israeli strike, Ali Abbas, who worked as a guard at the hospital.

• Israeli artillery shelling targeted Maroun al-Ras, in Bint Jbeil district, according to local residents. A fire broke out after the strike.

• Israeli fighter jets were seen flying over several regions of southern Lebanon, residents say.

• Fighter jets were also heard breaking the sound barrier over the Bekaa, according to our correspondent in the region, Sarah Abdallah.

17:48 Beirut Time

 The Israeli military claims that an initial investigation into its strikes on al-Barkasat displacement camp in Rafah on Sunday that killed 45 people has found that the munitions used were too small to have ignited the fire that engulfed the tents following the attack, AP reports, citing a military official.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the military fired two 17-kilogram (37-pound) bombs that targeted two senior Hamas militants. Initial reports from local news outlets cited seven or eight bombs being dropped on the camp.

The deadly attack sparked global outrage, including from some of Israel’s closest allies. Netanyahu said the incident was a “tragic mistake.”

The Palestinian ambassador in London claimed yesterday that the army used "2,000-pound bombs," possibly the "Mark 84 (Mk 84)" bombs. These American-made unguided munitions explode into more than 14,000 fragments, sending shrapnel flying over a one-kilometer radius.

👉 Here is an article explaining what we know so far about Sunday's attack.

17:35 Beirut Time

An Al Jazeera correspondent reporting from Deir al-Balah says all the injured and dead from the recent Israeli airstrikes on the displacement camp in Mawasi have been transferred to field hospitals in Rafah as no hospitals remain in the southern governorate.

“There are no hospitals in Rafah. All the injured and the dead bodies have been transferred to the International Medical Corps field hospital. There are no ambulances," Hind Khoudary told the channel, adding that 13 women are among the 21 killed.

“It’s catastrophic and horrifying being injured and not being able to get transferred from one place to another because of lack of fuel. For more than three weeks now, nothing has entered the Gaza Strip,” she said.

An anesthetist at the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in the north of Deir al-Balah, who received casualties from the Sunday strike on a displacement camp in Rafah, shared his account of the state of the healthcare in the Strip.

👉 Read his testimony here. 

17:11 Beirut Time

Twenty-one Palestinians were killed, at least twelve of them women, and dozens wounded in new Israeli strikes on an area of tents housing displaced people in Rafah earlier this afternoon, Palestinian medical officials said.

Reuters reports that the new Israeli strikes targeted the tents of displaced families in the designated humanitarian zone in Mawasi in western Rafah, according to medics and residents.

Footage verified by Al Jazeera’s Sanad fact-checking agency shows a large number of people, including women, killed and injured from the attack, which comes two days after a deadly attack on another camp of displaced people in Rafah caused shockwaves around the world.

In the videos from today, people are seen frantically attending to the bloodied victims and covering the bodies of those killed with blankets.

16:27 Beirut Time

For the last nine years, Israel has deployed its intelligence agencies to surveil, hack, pressure, smear and allegedly threaten senior staff at the International Criminal Court in an effort to derail the Court’s inquires, according to findings from an investigation by the Guardian and the Israeli-based magazines +972 and Local Call.

In an article published today, the Guardian reveals that Israeli intelligence captured the communications of numerous ICC officials, including Judge Karim Khan and his predecessor as prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, intercepting phone calls, messages, emails and documents.

The joint investigation draws on interviews with more than two dozen current and former Israeli intelligence officers and government officials, senior ICC figures, diplomats and lawyers familiar with the ICC case and Israel’s efforts to undermine it.

16:04 Beirut Time

A second Egyptian soldier has died after being wounded in an exchange of gunfire with Israeli troops near Rafah border crossing yesterday, Middle East Eye reports, citing local sources familiar with the incident.

Ibrahim Islam Abdelrazzaq, a 21-year-old infantry border guard, was critically wounded and hospitalized on Monday. He succumbed to his wounds earlier today.

The first Egyptian soldier to be killed by Israeli fire was identified by the publication as 22-year-old Abdallah Ramadan, though the military has yet to confirm his identity.

15:22 Beirut Time

An update on the situation in southern Lebanon:

- The Israeli army shelled the Wadi Hamoul area on the outskirts of Naqoura (Sour), according to village residents.

- The Israeli army also shelled the Ain Khdeir area on the outskirts of Rashaya al-Foukar (Hasbaya), according to other witnesses.

- Hezbollah announced that it attacked a group of Israeli soldiers at 2:10 p.m. with artillery fire on the disputed Kfar Shouba hills, opposite the Lebanese town of the same name (Hasbaya).

15:20 Beirut Time

14:39 Beirut Time

Ireland officially recognized the State of Palestine on Tuesday, along with Spain and Norway, with Prime Minister Simon Harris calling it a matter of “keeping hope alive.”

In a statement issued after a cabinet meeting which formalized the decision, the head of the Irish government called on his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu to “listen to the world and stop the humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza.

An Irish ambassador to the State of Palestine will be appointed, as well as a full Irish embassy in Ramallah.

14:15 Beirut Time

Iraq's influential Shiite religious leader, Moqtada Sadr, on Tuesday renewed his call to close the US embassy in Baghdad after an Israeli strike on a camp for displaced Palestinians left dozens dead in the southern Gaza Strip, AFP reports.

“I reiterate my demand to expel” the US ambassador from Iraq and “close the embassy by diplomatic means without bloodshed,” said Sadr on X, who also denounced “genocide” in Gaza and “the bombardment of the camps at Rafah” as well as “shameful” US support for Israel in the devastating war on Palestinian territory.

14:06 Beirut Time

Spain, Ireland and Norway, whose simultaneous recognition on Tuesday of the State of Palestine provoked the fury of the Israeli authorities, will provide a “firmresponse to the “attacks” by Israel's foreign ministry, assured the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, quoted by AFP.

“We are going to respond ... in coordination with Norway and Ireland, which are targeted by the same type of execrable disinformation and attacks on social networks,” a “firm and calm” response to these “provocations,” Jose Manuel Albares told the press.

13:55 Beirut Time

Gaza's Health Ministry announces new death toll of 36,096 and 81,136 wounded in Israeli military offensive on Gaza

13:37 Beirut Time

A ship has been damaged by missile fire off the coast of Yemen, where Houthi rebels are stepping up attacks on merchant shipping, the British maritime security company Ambrey said on Tuesday, reports AFP.

The vessel was “targeted by three missiles around 54 nautical miles southwest of Hodeida,” and issued a distress signal “indicating that the cargo hold had been damaged and was filling with water,” Ambrey added.

13:36 Beirut Time

Spain officially recognized the State of Palestine, according to a government spokesperson, AFP reports.

13:24 Beirut Time

Canada announced that it would be issuing visas to 5,000 Gazans, more than it had initially promised, and said it was “horrified” by an Israeli air strike in Rafah that sparked a fire killing 45 people.

“Although it is not currently possible to leave Gaza, the situation can change at any time. With this increase in the cap, we will be ready to help more people as the situation evolves,” said Immigration Minister Marc Miller.

13:23 Beirut Time

The Knesset is set to hold a preliminary vote designating the United Nations Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) as a terrorist organization, thereby severing all ties with the body.

“Without a shadow of a doubt, UNRWA proved during the Oct. 7 massacre that it is a terrorist organization no different from the Hamas terrorist organization,” said Yulia Malinovksy, an opposition party MP and author of the bill.

Israel has accused some 12 UNRWA staff of involvement in the kidnapping and holding of hostages during the Hamas operation in Israel on Oct. 7, of stockpiling Hamas weapons and of glorifying the Al Aqsa flood in its teachings.

12:42 Beirut Time

Norway, one of three European states to formally recognize the State of Palestine since Tuesday, hailed “a landmark day” for its bilateral relations with the Palestinian authorities, reports AFP.

“For more than 30 years, Norway has been one of the most fervent supporters of a Palestinian state,” its head of diplomacy, Espen Barth Eide, said in a statement. “The day Norway officially recognizes Palestine as a state is a landmark day for the relationship between Norway and Palestine.”

12:41 Beirut Time

Several Israeli tanks reached the center of Rafah on Tuesday, witnesses told Reuters, three weeks after the start of a ground operation in the southern Gaza Strip city that has come under intense surveillance from neighboring Egypt and the United States.

The tanks were spotted near the Al-Awda Mosque, a central Rafah landmark, witnesses said. The Israeli army did not immediately comment on their account, indicating that it would issue a statement on the Rafah operation at a later date.

12:39 Beirut Time

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron told X on Tuesday that the Israeli army's investigation into the Rafah airstrikes must be “swift, thorough and transparent,” and again called for a pause in the fighting.

12:00 Beirut Time

Hezbollah MP Hassan Ezzedine described Monday's Israeli attack on the Salah Ghandour Hospital in Ainata (Bint Jbeil) as an “aggressive and dangerous act.”

“This is a significant development and a clear violation of the battlefield dynamics between us and this enemy, and it contravenes all the principles and rules of war,” he said, speaking at a memorial ceremony for a Hezbollah fighter in Qlaileh (Sour).

He also said that Hezbollah's response would bestrong enough ... to dissuade it from committing such an act again.”

11:44 Beirut Time

Lebanon's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates on Tuesday condemned “the massacres” perpetrated by the Israeli occupier against unarmed civilians in the Gaza Strip. “The latest deliberately targeted Palestinian refugee tents near an UNRWA headquarters northwest of the Palestinian city of Rafah, leaving dozens dead and wounded,” the ministry denounced in a statement. This operation took place “in defiance of the recent decision of the International Court of Justice calling on Israel to put an end to its military operations in Rafah,” it added.

11:39 Beirut Time

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz accused Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, whose government is set to formally recognize the state of Palestine on Tuesday, of being “complicit” in “calls for genocideof the Jews, reports AFP, citing a message posted on X.

11:13 Beirut Time

Palestinians flee the area of Tal al-Sultan in Rafah with their belongings following renewed Israeli strikes in the city in the southern Gaza Strip on May 28, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas militant group. (Credit: Eyad Baba/AFP)

10:47 Beirut Time

Chinese diplomats on Tuesday expressed their “deep concern” about Israel's strikes on Rafah, where the Israeli army carried out a deadly bombardment of a camp for displaced persons, reports AFP.

The statement was made during a regular press briefing by Mao Ning, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

10:41 Beirut Time

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Tuesday that Spain would recognize a Palestinian state including the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, unified under the Palestinian Authority, with East Jerusalem as its capital, Reuters reports.

In a brief televised address, in Spanish and English, he said Spain would not recognize any changes to Palestinian borders after 1967 unless all parties agreed. The Spanish government will officially approve the recognition later on Tuesday.

Recognition of the State of Palestine is “a necessity” for “achieving peace” between Israelis and Palestinians, as well as being “a question of historical justice,” added the Spanish Prime Minister, as also reported by AFP. Sanchez added that this decision was taken “against no one, least of all Israel.”

10:15 Beirut Time

According to an ABC NEWS report quoted by Haaretz, the Biden administration has been informed by Israel that shrapnel may have ignited a fuel tank located 100 meters from a tent in Rafah on Sunday night, causing a massive fire and the death of at least 45 people.

According to the report, US officials told ABC NEWS that the administration was assessing the cause of the fire and awaiting the findings of the Israeli investigation.

09:20 Beirut Time

Also in southern Lebanon, during the night, according to security sources:

- After 9 p.m., Israeli artillery shelled the outskirts of Hanin (Bint Jbeil).

- At around 10 p.m., Hezbollah announced “a night air attack with drones on the new positions of the 411th artillery battalion east of Nahariya,” on the Israeli coast. The party said the attack, which was successful, was launched in retaliation for the Israeli bombardment near the Salah Ghandour Hospital, which killed at least two people in Ainata the same day.

- After midnight, the Israeli air force launched several strikes, including two on Khiam (Marjayoun), one on Mais al-Jabal (Marjayoun) and another on Aita al-Shaab (Bint Jbeil). Rescue workers from the Al-Rissala Scout Association, affiliated with the Amal movement, intervened to control outbreaks of fire caused by some of these strikes. 

09:16 Beirut Time

On the border between Lebanon and Israel, where Hezbollah and the Israeli army have been exchanging fire on an almost daily basis since Oct. 8, the day after the outbreak of the Gaza war, several incidents took place this Tuesday morning, according to L'Orient Today's correspondent.

- At around 6 a.m., local residents reported Israeli bombardment of the towns of Ramieh and Bint Jbeil (Bint Jbeil).

- The first Hezbollah statement of the day was issued at 7:30 a.m. It announced a 6 a.m. attack by the party's artillery on the Israeli Ramiya site, opposite Ramieh. The attack causedcasualties,” according to Hezbollah.

- The Israeli army fired four shells at the town of Khiam (Marjayoun), according to reports from local residents. One of the shells fell on the Khiam plain near some farmers, without causing any injuries or damage.

09:13 Beirut Time

Egypt, a key mediator with Qatar and the United States in diplomatic efforts to achieve a cease-fire, condemned a “deliberate bombardment of displaced persons' tents by Israeli forces.”

Qatar warned that Israeli strikes at Rafah could “complicate mediation efforts” at a time when the UN is warning of impending famine in the besieged Gaza Strip, where most hospitals are no longer functioning.

09:13 Beirut Time

The emergency closed-door meeting of the Security Council scheduled for Tuesday was requested by Algeria, a non-permanent member of the Council, several of these sources told AFP.

The UN has called for a “full and transparent” investigation into the Rafah bombing.

The deadly strike on Rafah came two days after a decision by the International Court of Justice, the UN's highest court, which on Friday ordered Israel to suspend its operations at Rafah.

According to the UN, this operation had already forced some 800,000 Palestinians to flee in almost three weeks, forcing people who had sought refuge in Rafah earlier in the war to move again.

09:09 Beirut Time

Israel stepped up its strikes on Rafah on Tuesday, despite condemnations of its deadly bombardment of a local displacement camp, which prompted the UN Security Council to call an emergency meeting on the situation in this part of the besieged Palestinian enclave.

On the ground, AFP teams in Rafah reported early morning air strikes and gunfire in central and western Rafah, where the Israeli army began a ground operation in early May.

These new bombardments come in the wake of a wave of international condemnation of a strike in Rafah, which on Sunday evening left 45 people dead and 249 injured, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health, and set fire to tents occupied by Palestinians in a camp for displaced persons.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regretted the “tragic accident.” “Upset,” the United States called on its Israeli ally to “take every precaution to protect civilians.” Around 10,000 people gathered near the Israeli embassy in Paris to denounce the bombings.

“There is no safe place in Gaza. These horrors must stop," declared UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

09:01 Beirut Time
09:01 Beirut Time

Good morning!

Thank you for joining us for our live coverage of the ongoing war in Gaza and its regional and global impacts.