Israeli air strikes hit Rafah, leaving more dead and dozens injured

77

28th May 2024 – (Rafah)  Israeli air strikes have once again hit an area to the west of Rafah in Palestine, causing fatalities and leaving dozens wounded, according to Palestinian health officials cited by Reuters. Al Jazeera Arabic also reports that the strikes targeted tents where displaced individuals sought shelter in Rafah, resulting in casualties.

Meanwhile, Israel is employing diplomatic measures to counter the recognition of Palestinian statehood. Following the recent announcements by Ireland, Norway, and Spain regarding their intention to recognize a Palestinian state, Israel recalled its ambassadors from these three countries. Subsequently, the Israeli government requested meetings with the ambassadors of Ireland, Norway, and Spain, during which a propaganda video purportedly depicting Hamas’ attack on October 7 was shown—an action that has deviated from diplomatic norms, as noted by many observers.

Israel’s foreign minister also issued a statement instructing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to prevent the Spanish consulate in Jerusalem from conducting consular activities or providing services to residents of the Palestinian Authority. Similar actions are anticipated to be taken concerning the Norwegian and Irish diplomatic missions.

Israel’s Channel 12 reports that a group of 130 Israeli economists, including a former director-general of the finance ministry, have sent a letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu, cautioning against lenient policies towards the ultra-orthodox community. The economists argue that exemptions from military service and special government funding allocated to ultra-orthodox schools impose an unfair burden on the broader tax-paying population. They warn that such policies could lead to an exodus of the “educated and productive” segments of society, while the ultra-orthodox community, dedicated to Torah studies, continues to grow.

The economists assert that the government’s current approach is pushing the country towards economic and societal peril, endangering the Israeli economy. The ongoing deadlock over legislation concerning ultra-orthodox military service has contributed to this challenging situation.

The armed wing of the Islamic Jihad group, Al-Quds Brigades, claims to have conducted a bombing targeting Israeli soldiers and vehicles in the Jabalia refugee camp. In a joint operation with the Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, fighters also shot down an Israeli quadcopter in the camp. Israeli forces had initiated a military operation in Jabalia, resulting in the relocation of the majority of its population to other areas of Gaza.