Gaza war: Rafah incursion would put hundreds of thousands of lives at risk, says UN aid agency

The city has become critical for humanitarian aid and is highly concentrated with displaced Palestinians.
Palestinians react next to the bodies of their relatives who were killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza Stirp.
Palestinians react next to the bodies of their relatives who were killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza Stirp.Photo | AP

The United Nations humanitarian aid agency says hundreds of thousands of people would be “at imminent risk of death” if Israel carries out a military assault in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

The city has become critical for humanitarian aid and is highly concentrated with displaced Palestinians.

Leaders internationally have urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be cautious about any incursion into Rafah, where seven people — mostly children — were killed overnight in an Israeli airstrike.

On Thursday, United States Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said any U.S. response to such an incursion would be up to President Joe Biden, but that currently, “conditions are not favorable to any kind of operation.” Turkey's trade minister said Friday that its new trade ban on Israel was in response to “the deterioration and aggravation of the situation in Rafah."

The Israel-Hamas war has driven around 80% of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million from their homes, caused vast destruction in several towns and cities, and pushed northern Gaza to the brink of famine. The death toll in Gaza has soared to more than 34,500 people, according to local health officials, and the territory’s entire population has been driven into a humanitarian catastrophe.

Palestinians react next to the bodies of their relatives who were killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza Stirp.
Netanyahu vows to invade Rafah 'with or without a deal' as cease-fire talks with Hamas continue

The war began Oct. 7 when Hamas attacked southern Israel, abducting about 250 people and killing around 1,200, mostly civilians. Israel says militants still hold around 100 hostages and the remains of more than 30 others.

Dozens of people demonstrated Thursday night outside Israel’s military headquarters in Tel Aviv, demanding a deal to release the hostages. Meanwhile, Hamas said it would send a delegation to Cairo as soon as possible to keep working on cease-fire talks. A leaked truce proposal hints at compromises by both sides after months of talks languishing in a stalemate.

Across the United States, tent encampments and demonstrations against the Israel-Hamas war have spread across university campuses. More than 2,000 protesters have been arrested over the past two weeks as students rally against the war’s death toll and call for universities to separate themselves from any companies that are advancing Israel’s military efforts in Gaza.

Palestinians react next to the bodies of their relatives who were killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza Stirp.
Blinken tells Netanyahu US still opposes Rafah operation: US official

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com