Skip to main content

War on Gaza: Israeli jets kill two paramedics in Rafah after ‘deliberately’ bombing ambulance

The killing of two Palestinian first responders comes as Israel escalates attacks in Rafah
Palestinian members of the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) mourn two fellow paramedics killed by Israeli forces in Rafah on 30 May 2024 (Reuters/Hatem Khaled)
Palestinian members of the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) mourn two fellow paramedics killed by Israeli forces in Rafah on 30 May 2024 (Reuters/Hatem Khaled)

Israeli forces bombed an ambulance in Rafah, killing two Palestinian paramedics on a rescue mission, according to the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS). 

The pair, identified as Haitham Tubasi and Suhail Hassouna, were “deliberately” targeted while in a PRCS ambulance in the Tel al-Sultan area in western Rafah, the medical group said

The charity added that they were killed while “they were performing their humanitarian duty”.

Their bodies were retrieved on Thursday by their colleagues, who were moved to tears as they buried them in Rafah. 

“The Israeli occupation forces deliberately bombed the ambulance vehicle despite it bearing the internationally protected Red Crescent emblem,” PRCS said on social media platform X.

Stay informed with MEE's newsletters

Sign up to get the latest alerts, insights and analysis, starting with Turkey Unpacked


The Palestinian health ministry condemned the “heinous crime” in a short statement, saying it was another example of Israel’s deliberate effort to “annihilate and destroy the health system in the Gaza Strip”.

According to the Gaza-based government media office, Israeli forces have killed at least 69 members of the Palestinian civil defence and 496 medical professionals since 7 October 2023. 

At least 130 ambulances and 160 medical facilities have been targeted, with 33 main hospitals being put out of service.

The PRCS says at least 19 staff members have been killed, all “targeted by the occupation while performing their humanitarian duties”. 

Tubasi and Hassouna were killed in western Rafah, an area not previously marked by Israeli forces as part of combat zones in the southern city.

The Israeli military expanded its invasion of Gaza by sending troops and tanks into Rafah earlier this month.

Gaza's civil defence forced to leave hundreds of victims under rubble
Read More »

The military says the assault was “limited” to eastern and southern parts of the city, despite international pressure to end the war.

However, Israeli aerial and ground attacks have covered almost all parts of Rafah, forcing over one million people who took shelter in the city earlier in the war to flee again. 

Israeli air strikes on Sunday at a displacement camp in northwestern Rafah killed 45 Palestinians, prompting international outrage.

Two days later, Israeli forces struck a group of tents in a humanitarian zone in western Rafah again, killing at least 21 people. 

The escalation of attacks on Rafah continues despite an order by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for Israel to halt its offensive as part of the ongoing case accusing Israel of genocide in its war on Gaza.

Israel rejected the ruling, stating its offensive in Gaza complies with international law.

After hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled Rafah, overcrowding is worsening in shelters throughout Gaza. Unrwa reported that one of their schools in Deir el-Balah is currently housing 16,000 displaced people.

Jabalia destroyed

Also on Thursday, Israeli air strikes pummelled northern Gaza, with one attack targeting a family home in Beit Hanoun and killing at least nine people, Al Jazeera Arabic reported.

Other strikes targeted a home in Shati camp, west of Gaza City, and another a shelter for displaced Palestinians.

Palestinian journalist Motasem Dalloul reported that his son had been killed in an air strike targeting the Gaza City's al-Zaytoun neighbourhood. 

In Jabalia, displaced Palestinians have been returning to the refugee camp, following the partial withdrawal of Israeli troops. They found it in ruins.

Videos shared online revealed camp residents picking through the debris of homes and shelters.

The police station, a UN clinic, schools that were being used as shelters, the main roads and almost every home in the camp has been reduced to rubble.

Decomposing bodies littered the streets after Israeli bulldozers ploughed through a cemetery in the al-Faluja area, scattering corpses across the surrounding alleys.

In the occupied West Bank, six Palestinians have been wounded by Israeli forces amid an ongoing raid on Jenin refugee camp, according to Wafa news agency.

Twenty Palestinians have been arrested across the West Bank since last night, according to the Palestinian Prisoners' Society.

In Ramallah, a fire sparked by Israeli munitions during a raid destroyed the city's central vegetable market, injuring at least one Palestinian.

Israel's war on Gaza, now nearing its eighth month, has devastated the Palestinian territory.  

The aerial and ground offensive has turned much of the enclave, which is home to more than two million Palestinians, into an uninhabitable hellscape.

Whole neighbourhoods have been erased. Homes, schools and hospitals have been devastated by air strikes and scorched by tank fire. 

Nearly the entire population is reported to have fled their homes, and those who remained in northern Gaza are on the verge of famine.

More than 36,200 have been killed, with 10,000 more missing and presumed buried under rubble, according to health officials. 

Around 70 percent of the victims are children and women. 

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.