ARAB AND WORLD

Fri 03 May 2024 7:16 pm - Jerusalem Time

United Nations: Invading Rafah may cause a massacre of civilians

International organizations have warned against the Israeli occupation army storming the city of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, indicating that this may cause a “massacre” of civilians and will lead to the expectation of relief operations in the Strip.


A spokesman for the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs, Jens Laerke, said that any Israeli incursion into Rafah would put the lives of hundreds of thousands of Gazans at risk and would be a massive blow to humanitarian operations in the entire Strip.


“It could be a massacre of civilians and a huge blow to the humanitarian relief operation in the entire sector because it is mainly run from Rafah,” Laerke said, noting that the relief operations coming out of Rafah include medical clinics and food distribution points, including centers for children suffering from malnutrition.


There are about 1.4 million displaced people in Rafah, and Tel Aviv claims that it is the "last stronghold" of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas).


For his part, the representative of the World Health Organization in the Palestinian Territories, Rick Pepperkorn, expressed his concern about any Israeli military operation in Rafah, and said that it would lead to the closure of the crossing used to enter medical supplies into the Gaza Strip.


Peppercorn also revealed that the organization had prepared a contingency plan in the event of an Israeli incursion into Rafah, but he explained that it would not be sufficient to prevent a significant increase in the death toll.


He added, "I really want to say that this emergency plan is just a bandage," stressing that it "will not at all prevent deaths and the expected spread of diseases as a result of the military operation."


American warning

In a related context, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said that if Israel does not take the correct steps to evacuate civilians from Rafah before it begins its operations, there is a possibility that large numbers of civilian casualties will occur, noting that the United States has made clear to Israel that evacuating civilians from the conflict zone is important before Any operation.


Yesterday, Thursday, Austin discussed with his Israeli counterpart, Yoav Gallant, Tel Aviv’s expected plan to launch a ground attack on Rafah. A statement from the US Department of Defense (the Pentagon) stated that Austin stressed during the call with Gallant the need for Israel’s offensive plan to include the evacuation of Palestinian civilians in the region and the continued access of Palestinian civilians to the area. Humanitarian aid.


Source: Agencies

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United Nations: Invading Rafah may cause a massacre of civilians

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