The loss of lives in Israeli air strikes on displaced Palestinians in southern Gaza is “heartbreaking” and a “matter of deep concern,” the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday.

On May 26, Israel conducted air strikes on a camp housing displaced Palestinian civilians in Rafah city killing at least 45, reported Al Jazeera.

Rafah was considered the last refuge for Palestinians in Gaza after Israel launched ground operation starting from the northern areas of the territory. The southern city was also the main point of entry for fuel before the Israeli military captured the Gaza side of the Rafah crossing with Egypt.

“The loss of civilian lives in the displacement camp in Rafah is a matter of deep concern for us,” Randhir Jaiswal, the ministry’s spokesperson, said during a media briefing. “We have consistently called for protection of civilian population and respect for international humanitarian law in the ongoing conflict.”

He added that India has always supported a two-state solution, which includes the establishment of a “sovereign, viable, and independent state of Palestine within recognised and mutually agreed borders, living side by side with Israel in peace”.

On Tuesday, Ireland, Norway and Spain formally recognised Palestine as a country.

Despite global outrage over Sunday’s attack, Israel continued its operation in Gaza ignoring calls to halt the offensive in the city in the besieged Palestinian territory, reported Al Jazeera.

Israel’s war on Gaza has been ongoing for over seven months. This began after Palestinian militant group Hamas’ incursion into southern Israel on October 7 that killed 1,200 people. The militant group had also taken over 200 people hostage.

A hundred of those hostages are still believed to be alive and in Gaza, according to Al Jazeera. Some of the hostages were released in November as part of a brief ceasefire agreement and others were killed as a result of the war.

Since October, Israel has been carrying out unprecedented air and ground strikes on Gaza. The attacks have killed at least 36,700 persons, including over 15,000 children.