Friday, April 12, 2024

26 EU members warn against Israel’s military action in Rafah, Gaza

Nearly all member states of the European Union have warned Israel against going ahead with its planned ground offensive in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, which is packed with Palestinian refugees.

The warning came in a joint statement issued by 26 of the bloc’s foreign ministers at the end of their Monday meeting. Only Hungary did not join in.

The statement asked Israel “not to take military action in Rafah that would worsen an already catastrophic humanitarian situation and prevent the urgently needed provision of basic services and humanitarian assistance”.

Israel has been waging a genocidal war against Gaza since last October following Operation al-Aqsa Storm by the coastal territory’s resistance groups against the occupied territories.

More than 29,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have lost their lives in the regime’s brutal military onslaught, which has left over 69,000 others injured.

Last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the Israeli military to evacuate civilians from Rafah ahead of a planned ground operation, despite the fact that the city is now hosting around 1.5 million Palestinian refugees.

The EU statement called for “an immediate humanitarian pause that would lead to a lasting ceasefire, the unconditional release of all hostages, and the provision of humanitarian assistance” to the people in Gaza.

Meanwhile, the bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said, “We have to continue putting pressure on Israel to make them understand that there are so many people in the streets of Rafah, [and] it will be impossible to avoid civilian casualties.”

“This, certainly, will be against the respect of humanitarian law,” he added.

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