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Israel continues operations in Rafah despite International Criminal Court's ban

Israel continues operations in Rafah despite International Criminal Court's ban Illustrative photo (photo: Getty Images)

The Israeli military continues its operations against Hamas in the city of Rafah in southern Gaza, despite the International Criminal Court's (ICC) decision ordering them to cease such activities in the name of preserving civilian lives, according to Bloomberg and Reuters.

The Gaza health ministry, controlled by Hamas, reported that at least 27 people were killed in an airstrike in an area crowded with refugees in tents northwest of Rafah. Social media footage shows fire spreading through the tents as people pull out the dead and injured, Bloomberg writes.

"Our teams are doing their best to save lives," the International Committee of the Red Cross said in a statement.

Reuters also reports, citing a civil defense official, that at least 20 Palestinians were killed following a series of Israeli airstrikes on a displaced persons camp in Rafah.

Meanwhile, Israeli military stated they struck a complex in Rafah where significant Hamas terrorists operated. The strike was made against legitimate targets.

Bloomberg notes that this area was not among those Israeli forces ordered to evacuate before the advance on Rafah, leading many people fleeing from more dangerous areas to arrive there.

According to Bloomberg, ceasefire talks in Gaza are set to resume this week following a meeting in Paris between the head of Israeli intelligence, the head of the US Central Intelligence Agency, and the Qatari foreign minister.

ICC's decision regarding Israel's operations in Rafah

The wording of the court decision has led to different interpretations. Many see it as an order to cease the offensive, and this was widely reported on Friday. However, Israeli officials say the order is conditional - their military must cease any actions that could harm civilian populations.

On Sunday, May 26, Hamas militants from the territory of Rafah fired at Israel. This happened for the first time in four months.