Gaza authorities say 25 people have been killed by the Israeli attack on Mawasi

Gaza health officials said 25 people were killed and 50 wounded on Friday when an Israeli military attack hit tents housing displaced people in Al-Mawasi, a coastal community in the southern Gaza Strip, near the city of Rafah.

The report could not be independently verified and the Israeli military said “the incident is under review.”

Al-Mawasi contains an area where the Israeli army told people fleeing fighting in Rafah to flee for their safety, although such areas were also targeted during the war. It was not clear from reports by Gaza officials whether the attack occurred within the area.

The Israeli military said its initial investigation showed “no indication” of an attack inside the safer zone. It was not specified whether the strike occurred elsewhere in Al-Mawasi, but photos and videos that emerged from the scene made it clear that there had been a strike.

Dr. Marwan Al-Homs, coordinator of a Red Cross field hospital in Al-Mawasi, said most of the victims taken to hospital were women and children, as well as some young men.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said its volunteers counted 18 dead and 35 wounded in the attack. Gaza health officials later gave the highest figures of 25 dead and 50 injured.

It is unclear what the aim of the strike was. Hamas and allied groups at war with Israel routinely operate among the civilian population. Israel says civilians suffer casualties when targeting militants; Palestinians accuse Israel of indiscriminately targeting or even targeting non-combatants.

Rafah, which borders Egypt, has been the focal point of Israel's military campaign since early May. About a million people displaced from other parts of Gaza crowded into Rafah at the start of the war, only to flee again when the Israeli offensive began. Many of them have traveled to Al-Mawasi, where aid groups say there is woefully inadequate shelter, sanitation, water and food.

In the past, the Al-Mawasi area has also been the subject of Israeli attacks, resulting in the deaths of dozens of civilians taking refuge in tent cities.

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