Piers Morgan joins cease-fire calls, urging Israel’s Netanyahu to ‘stop this now’

Television host Piers Morgan backed a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war Monday morning, saying in a string of social media posts that a recent Israeli strike in a Rafah “safe zone” that killed more than 40 people was too far.

“The scenes from Rafah overnight are horrific,” Morgan wrote on the social platform X. “I’ve defended Israel’s right to defend itself after Oct 7, but slaughtering so many innocent people as they cower in a refugee camp is indefensible.”

He added a message for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “Stop this now.”

The Israeli strike on the Tal al-Sultan neighborhood of Rafah targeted a humanitarian zone filled with tents, where Israel’s military previously instructed displaced Palestinians to shelter from the ongoing war against militant group Hamas, the Gaza Health Ministry said. The Israeli military claimed the strike killed two senior Hamas leaders.

The death toll was at least 45 people, the Gaza health officials said, adding that most of the dead were women and children. The ministry also noted that the death toll is likely to rise as “countless” were trapped in rubble.

The attack comes just days after the United Nations’s International Court of Justice ordered Israel to stop its operations in Rafah, the last remaining major settlement in Gaza that has not been invaded by the Israeli military.

Morgan also endorsed French President Emmanuel Macron’s statement Monday denouncing the attack and again calling for a cease-fire.

“Outraged by the Israeli strikes that have killed many displaced persons in Rafah. These operations must stop,” Macron wrote on X. “There are no safe areas in Rafah for Palestinian civilians. I call for full respect for international law and an immediate ceasefire.”

Morgan’s statement was met with pushback, with one Israeli Foreign Ministry official calling out the British news host for mischaracterizing what he said were “precision” strikes on Rafah.

“Well it wasn’t very precise, was it,” Morgan retorted.

He also shot back against another detractor, media host Shmuley Boteach, who said he was only showing “sanctimoniousness and self-righteousness.”

“When the IRA were murdering people in England, we didn’t drop 2000lb bombs on Belfast because the terrorists were living among civilians,” Morgan said.

More than half of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million people are believed to be sheltering in Rafah, and more than 80 percent of the territory’s population overall are displaced from their homes. The U.N. said famine has begun in parts of the region as civilians struggle to get access to humanitarian aid.

More than 120 aid trucks entered the city Sunday from Egypt, the first since the Israeli military seized the crossing earlier this month. It was not immediately clear if local aid groups could access the humanitarian supplies, however, The Associated Press reported, as fighting in the area has made humanitarian work difficult.

Much of southern Gaza, including Rafah, has been mostly cut off from aid since the Israeli military began what it described as a limited operation into the area early this month.

An American-built floating pier has begun to deliver some aid to the area, though aid groups say it is much less than promised and that there are not enough trucks to adequately distribute supplies.

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.