Head of Gulf Research Center clarifies comments on Gaza published in Le Monde newspaper News

LONDON: Sky News journalists in the Gaza Strip have reported witnessing a deadly Israeli drone strike while filming at a hospital in Rafah.

The newscaster’s Middle East correspondent, Alistair Bunkall, said it was unclear why the area was attacked and stressed the Israeli military had said Rafah, which lies south of the embattled Palestinian enclave, was safe.

A Sky News investigation earlier this month revealed Israel has routinely issued confusing evacuation orders for civilians and bombed areas it had previously declared safe.

Sky’s team in Gaza captured footage both during and in the wake of Wednesday’s attack. The video compilation, shared on the news service’s website, showed a father and his terrified children taking cover behind a car, civilians digging with their bare hands to reach survivors, and a child’s lifeless body being recovered from the rubble.

Despite international calls for a ceasefire, Israel has vowed to continue bombing the Gaza Strip until it eliminates Hamas.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who previously urged Israeli leaders to take concrete steps to reduce civilian deaths, suggested the violence would end if Hamas surrendered.

He said: “We hear many countries urging an end to this conflict, which we would all like to see. I hear virtually no one demanding of Hamas that it stop hiding behind civilians, that it lays down its arms, that it surrenders. This is over tomorrow if Hamas does that.”

Addressing an end-of-year media conference, Blinken urged Israel to do more to reduce the toll on innocent people.

“We continue to believe that Israel does not have to choose between removing the threat of Hamas and minimizing the toll on civilians in Gaza,” he said.

On Dec. 8, the US vetoed a UN Security Council resolution backed by over 90 member states to demand an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, where the number of civilian casualties continues to rise. The death toll has surpassed 20,000, of whom more than 8,000 are children, according to the health ministry.

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