THE White House has condemned the loss of life of dozens of civilians in Rafah as a result of an Israeli air strike but said it is not planning any policy changes as a result.

Benjamin Netanyahu faced criticism from across the globe following a strike on tents for displaced people which left people “burning alive” and dozens dead.

We told on Tuesday how Scotland’s First Minister John Swinney labelled the Israeli prime minister’s description of the strike as a “tragic mistake” as “unconscionable”.

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The US’s National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters Israel had not violated US president Joe Biden’s “red line” for withholding future offensive arms transfers because it has not, and it appears to the US that it will not, launch a full-scale ground invasion into the city in southern Gaza.

“Everything that we can see tells us that they are not moving into a major ground operation in population centres in the centre of Rafah,” Kirby said.

He called the loss of life “heartbreaking” and “horrific,” and said “we certainly condemn the loss of life here”.

Kirby added that the US was monitoring the results of an Israeli investigation into the strike, which suggested the civilian deaths were the result of a secondary explosion after the strike.

“We understand that this strike did kill two senior Hamas heads who are directly responsible for attacks,” he said.

“We’ve also said many times Israel must take every precaution possible to do more to protect innocent life.”

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters that Israel’s weeks-old offensive in Rafah was still on a “far different” scale than the assaults Israeli forces waged on other cities in Gaza earlier in the seven-month war against Hamas.

The US had urged Israel not to replicate those earlier attacks in Rafah, given the vulnerable civilians crowded there.

Miller said he had no direct knowledge of reported accounts from witnesses on the ground on Tuesday that Israeli tanks had entered the centre of Gaza, and noted Israel had denied responsibility for a new Israeli strike outside of Rafah on Tuesday that Gaza health officials said killed more than 20 people.

Asked whether the strike would result in any US policy changes, Kirby said: “I have no policy changes to speak to.”

Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh said she did not know whether it was a US-provided weapon that was used in the deadly Sunday strike that killed the dozens of civilians at a displacement camp.

“I do not know what type of ammunition was used in that air strike,” Singh said.

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“I have to refer you to the Israelis to speak to that.”

The Israelis have said they used small-diameter precision munitions in the attack and have suggested that a secondary explosion caused the number of civilian deaths.

Singh said the US has not paused shipments to Israel in the wake of the strike.

“Security assistance continues to flow,” she said.