The Carter Center, non-profit for former U.S President, Jimmy Carter has joined the chorus of voices calling on Israel to abandon its plans to launch a ground offensive in Rafah.
The Carter Center said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s order for the military to prepare to evacuate civilians ahead of a military offensive in Rafah was “alarming” given that an estimated 1.3 million Palestinians are residing in overcrowded conditions in the previously designated safe zone.
“The Israeli government’s directive further undermines prospects for long-term peace and its citizens’ security and prosperity,” the non-profit said in a statement.
It added, “Ordering this new wave of displacement of Palestinians will further exacerbate the humanitarian crisis resulting from the ongoing 126-day siege causing over 25,000 deaths, including some 12,000 children.”
Also, Australian Foreign Minister, Penny Wong expressed concern about the “diminishing safe space” for civilians in Gaza before Israel’s planned assault on Rafah.
“We are deeply concerned by reports of an Israeli military operation in Rafah where civilians are sheltering. Civilians and civilian infrastructure must be protected,” she added.
“We again call for the unconditional release of all remaining hostages and for safe and unimpeded humanitarian access. Australia will continue to use our voice to advocate for a just and enduring peace.”Penny Wong
Moreso, Canada’s Foreign Minister, Melanie Joly, warned that Israel’s planned offensive in Rafah would be devastating for innocent people.
“We are deeply concerned by reports of an Israeli military operation in Rafah. It would have devastating impact, putting the lives of Palestinians and foreign nationals, including [Canadians], seeking refuge in grave danger and making the vital delivery of humanitarian aid dangerous,” the Minister said in a statement on X.
She added, “We continue our call for the protection of civilians, for the release of hostages, for urgent efforts toward a sustainable ceasefire and for increased humanitarian aid.”
Military Action On City To Result In Bloodbath
Ahmed al-Sufi, the Mayor of Rafah, told a news agency that “any military action in the city crowded with more than 1.4 million Palestinians will lead to a massacre and a bloodbath.”
“We appeal to the international community and every living conscience to stop the genocide against the Palestinian people,” al-Sufi said.
He went on to say that the city is facing famine due to lack of supplies, and that the aid that enters through the Rafah crossing is only sufficient for 10 percent of the city’s population.
This came as Israeli air raids killed at least 28 Palestinians in Rafah early on Saturday, February 10, 2024.
Each strike killed multiple members of three families, including a total of 10 children, the youngest three months old.
It was also reported that Israeli warplanes bombed a car west of the city of Rafah, which led to the killing of three people.
The three men all belonged to the Rafah police department and were killed in the Tel al-Sultan area in the southern city.
Ahmed al-Yaqoubi, the Director of investigations in Rafah, his Deputy Ayman al-Rantisi, and Ibrahim Shtat, Head of the supplies investigation department, were named as the victims.