‘Stop Deadly Escalation’ – African Union Chief Condemns Israel’s Rafah Invasion

37th Summit of the African Union. (Photo: via African Union Tw Page)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Rafah has been experiencing intensified Israeli airstrikes and shelling in all its areas, including residential areas.

The African Union (AU) Commission’s Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat has condemned Israel’s ground invasion of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, calling for the international community to “stop this deadly escalation.”

Mahamat “firmly condemns the extension of this war to the Rafah crossing, the only corridor for humanitarian aid,” said a statement on Tuesday.

He also expressed “his extreme concern at the war undertaken by Israel in Gaza which results, at every moment, in massive deaths, systematic destruction, and loss of human life.”

“He calls on the entire international community to effectively coordinate collective action to stop this deadly escalation,” the statement reportedly added.

Israel’s war cabinet decided to push ahead with an operation in Rafah, despite the announcement by the Palestinian Resistance Movement Hamas on Monday of its acceptance of a Qatari-Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Dozens Killed

Rafah has been experiencing intensified Israeli airstrikes and shelling in all its areas, including residential areas.

According to the official Palestinian news agency WAFA, 35 people were killed, and 129 others were injured, in Rafah during the past 24 hours.

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Roughly 1.5 million displaced Palestinians are sheltering in Rafah, with many having been displaced from other areas destroyed by Israel in its ongoing military assault on the besieged enclave.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday said that a Rafah ground invasion would be “intolerable” because of its devastating humanitarian consequences.

He also warned that the “Protection of civilians is paramount in int’l humanitarian law.”

Rising Death Toll

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 34,844 Palestinians have been killed, and 78,404 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 11,000 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.

Nowhere Else to Go – Rafah Refugees Call on the World to Intervene

The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children.

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’.

(PC, Anadolu)

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