During an attack on Sunday in Rafah, a Palestinian city in the southern Gaza Strip, an Israeli strike set fire to an area housing displaced Palestinians, killing at least 45 people, including women and children, according to The Associated Press. On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Israel’s parliament regarding the strike.

“Despite our utmost efforts not to harm innocent civilians, last night there was a tragic mishap,” Netanyahu said during his address. “We are investigating the incident and will obtain a conclusion because this is our policy,” per AP.

Israel’s Sunday attack on Rafah occurred shortly after Hamas launched its first missile attack on the Israeli city of Tel Aviv in several months, per BBC, and days after the International Court of Justice’s ruling that Israel must halt attacks on Rafah.

“In Rafah we already evacuated about one million non-combatant residents and despite our utmost effort not to harm non-combatants, something unfortunately went tragically wrong,” said Netanyahu, BBC reports. Netanyahu asserted that “every precaution possible” must be taken by Israel to protect civilians caught in middle of the conflict, and he insisted that the Israel Defense Forces maintains its “best efforts not to harm those uninvolved,” per BBC.

Palestinians look at the destruction after an Israeli strike where displaced people were staying in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Monday, May 27, 2024. Palestinian health workers said Israeli airstrikes killed at least 35 people in the area. Israel's army confirmed Sunday's strike and said it hit a Hamas installation and killed two senior Hamas militants. | Jehad Alshrafi

As widespread condemnation of the attack from around the world mounted, the Israel Defense Forces “initially said that it had targeted two senior Hamas leaders, that it did not strike a designated humanitarian area and that it took steps to reduce the risk of harming civilians,” per NBC News. On X, formerly known as Twitter, the Israeli military posted a map of where it says the strike took place.

“This massacre is the largest in the city of Rafah in months,” the spokesman for the Palestinian Civil Defense in Rafah, Muhammad Al-Mughir, told NBC News.

Phillippe Lazzarini, commissioner-general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees, said, “I saw images. They are deeply disturbing and horrifying.” Lazzarini added, “There is no safe space in Gaza.”

In a statement responding to Sunday’s attack, Hamas said the Israeli strike on Rafah was “a horrific war crime” and demanded the “immediate and urgent implementation” of the International Court of Justice’s decision, according to The New York Times.

Palestinians react next to the destruction after an Israeli strike where displaced people were staying in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Monday, May 27, 2024. Palestinian health workers said Israeli airstrikes killed at least 35 people in the area. Israel's army confirmed Sunday's strike and said it hit a Hamas installation and killed two senior Hamas militants. | Jehad Alshrafi

How is the world reacting to Israel’s strike on Rafah?

“The devastating images following an IDF strike in Rafah last night that killed dozens of innocent Palestinians are heartbreaking,” a United States National Security Council spokesperson said in a statement on Monday, CBS News reported. “Israel has a right to go after Hamas, and we understand this strike killed two senior Hamas terrorists who are responsible for attacks against Israeli civilians. But as we’ve been clear, Israel must take every precaution possible to protect civilians.”

The U.S. “‘will be watching’ the results of the Israeli investigation into the deadly strike and subsequent fire in Rafah ‘closely,’ State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said Tuesday,” per CNN, “saying that the findings should be ‘presented openly and transparently to us and to the world.’”

On Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron took to X to voice his concerns over Sunday’s strike, calling for a cease-fire.

According to The New York Times, Volker Türk, the United Nations human rights chief, said, “What is shockingly clear is that by striking such an area, densely packed with civilians, this was an entirely predictable outcome.”