Egypt: Conducting any operation in Rafah despite global rejection reflects disregard for civilians’ lives



Sun, 17 Mar 2024 - 12:37 GMT


Sun, 17 Mar 2024 - 12:37 GMT

A Palestinian child observes as a group of people moves a wrapped body of a deceased person amidst the rubble of a building destroyed by Israeli bombings - WAFA

A Palestinian child observes as a group of people moves a wrapped body of a deceased person amidst the rubble of a building destroyed by Israeli bombings - WAFA

CAIRO - 17 March 2024: Egypt has reiterated its warning about the dangers of conducting any military operation in the city of Rafah, which currently houses more than half of Gaza's 2.3 million population, most of whom are displaced by the Israeli war.

"Egypt considers such action, despite the warnings and international rejection, as a disregard for the lives of innocent civilians and a serious violation of international law and humanitarian law," stated the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday.

Egypt has warned about the severe humanitarian consequences that would be inflicted upon Palestinian civilians who have sought refuge in Rafah as their last safe haven within the Gaza Strip.

Egypt has also renewed its call to influential international parties and the United Nations Security Council to assume their legal and humanitarian responsibilities by demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

Egypt called on these parties to work on preventing the scenario of forcibly displacing Palestinians from Gaza, putting an end to continuous Israeli violations against civilians, and urgently delivering humanitarian aid in all possible ways to the strip.

Furthermore, Egypt strongly condemned the continuation of Israeli forces' assaults against defenseless Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip, which have claimed the lives of more than 60 people over the past 24 hours.

These casualties add to "the hundreds of martyrs who fell while awaiting humanitarian aid at the Kuwait roundabout and previously at the Al-Nablusi roundabout," stated the ministry.

Egypt called on Israel to cease its policies of collective punishment against the population of the Gaza Strip, including the blockade, starvation, indiscriminate targeting of civilians, and the destruction of infrastructure.

The actions represent a flagrant violation of international law and international humanitarian law, the ministry emphasized.

It also urged Israel to fulfill its responsibilities as the occupying power in providing protection and a dignified life for the citizens under occupation, refraining from targeting civilians, and urgently providing aid to the inhabitants of Gaza.

‘Catastrophic consequences’

Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave his approval for a potential ground invasion in Rafah, a move that has been widely criticized by the international community and Israeli allies.

The prospect of an Israeli invasion in Rafah has been deemed catastrophic by world countries, as the city is home to over 1.5 million Palestinians.

Prior to the war, Rafah's population was around 200,000, but displacement from the conflict has led to an overwhelming increase in residents and strain on infrastructure.

Israel's Rafah plan involves evacuating the population towards designated "humanitarian islands" in the center of the strip.

Egypt is concerned that the Rafah operation will claim scores of innocent lives and push others through the Egyptian border towards Sinai, a matter that Egypt has repeatedly rejected.

Egypt has emphasized taking all measures to prevent any form of displacement of Palestinians to the country from taking place.

In an attempt to stop the potential invasion of Rafah, Egyptian officials and Qatar's Prime Minister, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, will meet in Doha on Sunday to resume the ceasefire talks.

Director of Mossad David Barnea will also join the talks.

According to the health ministry in Gaza, the Israeli war in Gaza has claimed the lives of 31,645 and injured 73,676 people.



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