‘In the Name of Humanity’ – WHO Chief Warns Israel on Rafah Invasion

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. (Photo: via WAFA)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

The WHO Director-General has appealed ‘In the Name of Humanity’ and warned that ‘This human catastrophe must not be allowed to worsen.’

Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has appealed to Israel not to proceed with its planned ground assault on Rafah, warning that it will lead to more deaths and suffering.

In a statement on X on Saturday, Ghebreyesus said he was “gravely concerned about reports of Israel’s intention.”

“Further escalation of violence in this densely populated area would lead to many more deaths and suffering, especially with health facilities already overwhelmed.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday rejected the latest truce and prisoner-exchange proposal by the Palestinian Resistance Movement Hamas and, instead, approved an Israeli military plan to launch an operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, Israeli media reported.

Ghebreyesus warned that “The 1.2 million people in Rafah do not have anywhere safe to move to.”

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“There are no fully functional, safe health facilities that they can reach elsewhere in Gaza. Many people are too fragile, hungry and sick to be moved again,” he stressed.

“In the name of humanity, we appeal to Israel not to proceed and instead to work towards peace,” the WHO chief stated.

He said, “This humanitarian catastrophe must not be allowed to worsen.”

Biden’s ‘Red Lines’

Israel’s decision to proceed with a ground incursion into Rafah comes after repeated warnings from the international community, including the US and Egypt, not to enter the city where most of Gaza’s 2.4 million Palestinians have sought refuge.

Netanyahu on Thursday reiterated Israel’s determination to complete its mission of “eliminating” Hamas.

US President Joe Biden has reportedly drawn “red lines”, which allow Israel to invade Rafah on condition that it does not pursue its campaign “without credible civilian protection plans in place.”

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“Senior U.S. officials have told their Israeli counterparts the Biden administration would support Israel going after high-value Hamas targets in and underneath Rafah – as long as Israel avoids a large-scale invasion that could fracture the alliance,” the news website Politico reported on Wednesday, based on information it obtained from US and Israeli sources.

Last week the US State Department said it has not yet seen a “humanitarian or military plan” for Israel’s planned invasion of the southern Gaza city.

Over 31,600 Killed

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, Israel has already killed 31,726 Palestinians have been killed, and 73,792 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

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The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire.’

Israel is currently on trial at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for its actions in Gaza.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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