Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas’s office has released a statement calling Netanyahu’s comments on a planned assault on Rafah a “real threat” and part of an Israeli plan to forcibly remove Palestinians from their land.
The statement added that the Israeli and US governments would be held fully responsible for the consequences of such a move, and called for the UN Security Council to act.
“It is now time for everyone to take responsibility in confronting the creation of another Nakba, which will push the whole region into endless wars,” the statement said.
Abbas also said that the expected military operation would threaten peace and security in the region.
The UN’s humanitarian Chief, Martin Griffiths highlighted the plight of Palestinians trapped in Rafah as Israel plans to attack the area packed with 1.4 million war-displaced people.
“Many of the well over 1 million people who make up Rafah’s population today have endured unthinkable suffering,” he noted in a post on X.
“Their homes have been destroyed, their streets mined, their neighbourhoods shelled,” Griffith said.
“They’ve been on the move for months, braving bombs, disease, and hunger. Where are they supposed to go? How are they supposed to stay safe?”Martin Griffiths
Moreover, the Chief of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), Philippe Lazzarini, said that any military operations by Israel in Rafah would bring “endless tragedy” to the already devastated city.
Lazzarini updated reporters about the impact that the expected invasion of Rafah would have on civilians, saying, “Any large-scale military operation among this population can only lead to an additional layer of endless tragedy that’s unfolding,” he said.
Lazzarini added that there is a “growing anxiety and growing panic” in Rafah.
“People have absolutely no idea where to go after Rafah,” Lazzarini said.
Lazzarini also told reporters that police in southern Gaza are less willing to provide escorts for humanitarian aid trucks after several officers were killed in separate Israeli air strikes.
Lazzarini said that police are increasingly unwilling to escort aid trucks that have been surrounded by civilians seeking food, as several officers reportedly died in Israeli air strikes.
Eight officers were reportedly killed by three Israeli airstrikes in the past four days, Lazzarini said.
“They’re saying enough is enough,” he told reporters.
War To Take Place In A Refugee Camp
Jan Egeland, the Secretary-General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, warned that Israel’s planned ground offensive on Rafah will be taking place in the world’s largest refugee camp.
“Rafah has now become the largest refugee camp on earth. One million people fled here because it was supposed to be safe. They’ve joined the population which is there already,” Egeland said in an interview.
He added, “It’s the most crowded, it’s the largest refugee camp on earth, and you cannot have a war in a refugee camp.”
Also, Ajith Sunghay, the Head of the UN’s human rights office (OHCHR) in the occupied Palestinian territory, said the situation in Gaza is “one of the biggest human rights crises” in the world.
“We see people in hospitals… desperate for medicines, medical attention. These places have been attacked. There are very few hospitals that are functioning,” Sunghay said in a video interview.
He stated that there are no proper shelters as well as a scarcity of tents for the displaced.
“I think for the civilians, waking up in the morning and trying to feed, just one meal a day for the family, is the biggest challenge. And, really being alive because every time I ask a person how he or she is doing, all that they say [is] we’re just grateful that we are alive.
“But they are extremely worried about what’s coming.”Ajith Sunghay