Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib slams bombing of Rafah as ‘intentional’ as Israel calls it a ‘mistake’

Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib slams bombing of Rafah as ‘intentional’ as Israel calls it a ‘mistake’

Democratic Representative Rashida Tlaib you have condemned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after he claimed that Israel’s bombing of Rafah was a “mistake”.

An Israeli airstrike on tents in Rafah, meant for displaced Palestinians, killed at least 50 people and injured dozens more on Sunday, according to Gaza health authorities.

Prime Minister Netanyahu subsequently called the strike “a tragic mistake” and said that it would be investigated.

But Rep. Tlaib, the only Palestinian-American member of Congress, hit back at the Israeli leader’s explanation.

“This was intentional,” she wrote on X. “You don’t accidentally kill massive amounts of children and their families over and over again and get to say, ‘It was a mistake.’”

Ms Tlaib also criticized President Joe Biden in her post. “Genocidal maniac Netanyahu told us he wants to ethically cleanse Palestinians,” she said. “When are you going to believe him @POTUS?”

Ms Tlaib has been heavily criticized in Congress since the Israel-Hamas war began last October when the militant group killed more than 1,200 people and took more than 250 hostages. An estimated 35,000 people have died in Gaza since Israel’s invasion.

Last year 22 Democrats joined with Republicans to censure her for her remarks about the war, specifically her invocation of the term “from the River to the Sea,” which she claimed was a statement of liberation for Palestinians but that many perceived to call for the destruction of Israel.

Ms Tlaib has also heavily criticized Mr Biden’s support for Israel throughout the war, and backed efforts in the Michigan Democratic primary to vote “uncommitted.”

Representative Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, a fellow member of the progressive coterie of Democrats known as “the Squad,” also condemned the bombing of Rafah on Monday.

“Horrific and gut wrenching images coming out of Rafah last night,” she posted on X. How much longer will the US stand by while the Israeli military slaughters and mutilates Palestinian babies? Where is our humanity?”

More than half of Gaza’s 1.5million people have sought refuge in the southern city of Rafah, and the Biden administration has repeatedly called invading Rafah a red line for this reason.

Mr Biden said in April that the US would not supply Israel with weapons for an attack on Rafah and confirmed that there was a hold on the shipment of 2,000-pound US bombs meant for Israel.

National Security Spokesman John Kirby told Axios on Monday that the images emerging from the Rafah strike were “heartbreaking.”

“The devastating images following the IDF strike in Rafah last night that killed dozens of innocent Palestinians are heartbreaking,” he said.

“Israel has a right to go after Hamas… but as we’ve been clear, Israel must take every precaution possible to protect civilians. “We are actively engaging the IDF and partners on the ground to assess what happened.”