‘Unbearable Escalation’ – UN Officials Warn Israel Over Rafah Invasion

Rafah, at the southern edge of Gaza, is the latest refuge for displaced Palestinians. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

“It would have a devastating impact on Palestinians in Gaza, with serious repercussions on the occupied West Bank & across the wider region.”

Top UN officials, including Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, have issued warnings over Israel’s plans to invade the southern Gaza town of Rafah, home to more than 1.4 million displaced Palestinians seeking refuge from the war.

“A military assault on Rafah would be an unbearable escalation, killing thousands more civilians & forcing hundreds of thousands to flee, Guterres said on X on Tuesday.

“It would have a devastating impact on Palestinians in Gaza, with serious repercussions on the occupied West Bank & across the wider region,” he added.


World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also said on X: “A full scale invasion on Rafah would be a humanitarian catastrophe. We appeal to Israel not to proceed. We urge all parties to work for a ceasefire and lasting peace.”

His remarks came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Tuesday to invade Rafah, despite the current negotiations for a possible ceasefire deal.

Netanyahu said the Israeli army would enter Rafah “with or without a deal.”

“The idea that we stop the war before achieving all its goals is out of the question. We will enter Rafah and eliminate the Hamas battalions there – with or without a deal, in order to achieve complete victory,” he stated.

Cairo Talks

Following their delegation’s return to Cairo, the Palestinian Resistance Movement Hamas is currently engaged in thorough consultations regarding the ongoing negotiations for a possible ceasefire.

On Tuesday, a Palestinian source with insight into the Cairo negotiations told Al-Mayadeen that the proposal presented to Hamas included positive elements and indicated a shift in Israel’s stance.

Hamas is however reportedly still reviewing key aspects of the proposal, particularly concerning a ceasefire and Israeli withdrawal from Gaza.

‘Strategic Mistake’ – Israeli General Criticizes Rafah Plans as 30 Soldiers Refuse to Follow Commands

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday said “There is a very strong proposal on the table right now. Hamas needs to say yes and needs to get this done.”

Blinken echoed a statement by US President Joe Biden, saying that Hamas is the primary obstacle to reaching an immediate ceasefire.

‘Contradict Reality’

Senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri responded to Blinken’s comments stating that they “contradict reality”.

“It is not strange for Blinken, who is known as the foreign minister of Israel, not America, to make such a statement,” Abu Zuhri told Reuters news agency.

“Even the Israeli negotiating team admitted Netanyahu was the one who was hindering reaching an agreement,” he added.

‘Netanyahu is the Obstacle’ – Hamas Studies Ceasefire Proposal, Slams Blinken’s Comments

Staggering 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, 34,568 Palestinians have been killed, and 77,765 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.

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

Genocide Continues – Scores of Civilians Killed, Urgent Calls for Humanitarian Action

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’.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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