IDF probes ‘tragic mishap’ that killed dozens of Gazans along with 2 top Hamas terrorists

Netanyahu laments ‘tragic mishap’ after 45 Gazans killed in strike targeting Hamas’ command and control center running Judea and Samaria operations.

By World Israel News Staff

The Israeli military has launched an internal investigation into an airstrike in southern Gaza, late Sunday, which eliminated two senior Hamas terrorists but also reportedly resulted in the deaths of dozens of Gaza civilians, the IDF announced Monday.

The army said that the incident, which occurred in the Tel Sultan area west of Rafah, will be investigated by the General Staff Fact-Finding Assessment Mechanism.

This mechanism, an independent military body, is responsible for examining unusual incidents during wartime. The probe was ordered by the military advocate general, the IDF stated.

The IDF emphasized that the strike did not occur in the designated humanitarian zone in the al-Mawasi region on the coast, where Gazan civilians have been advised to evacuate in recent weeks.

The airstrike, which took place in the Tel Sultan area west of Rafah, successfully eliminated the commander of Hamas’ operations in Judea and Samaria.

For years, the terror group has remotely orchestrated attacks against Israel in Judea and Samaria as well as in pre-1967 Israel from its operations hub in Gaza.

Yassin Rabia, the director of this operations hub, was killed in Sunday night’s airstrike, along with another senior member of the unit, identified as Khaled Nagar.

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Hamas health authorities have claimed that approximately 45 people were killed in the strike, which the Palestinian Red Crescent claimed also affected several tents and shelters housing civilians.

According to a preliminary investigation, the airstrike sparked a fire which destroyed a number of nearby tents.

“Despite our efforts not to hurt them, there was a tragic mishap,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday.

“We are investigating the incident. For us it’s a tragedy, for Hamas it’s a strategy.”

Speaking at an Israel Bar Association event Monday, the IDF’s advocate general, Major General Yifat Tomer-Yerushalmi, called the incident “very grave,” while adding it is “still under investigation.”

“The IDF regrets any harm to noncombatants during the war.”

A military source mentioned that the strike utilized two missiles with a “reduced in size” warhead, specifically adapted for such targets.