Saturday, May 25, 2024

PA says US support behind Israel’s disregard for warnings against Rafah invasion

The Palestinian Authority  (PA) has blamed the US bias for Israel’s disregard for growing opposition to launching a military offensive in Rafah in southern Gaza Strip.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Tuesday to invade Rafah, home to more than 1.4 million displaced Palestinians, with or without a cease-fire deal with Hamas.

“Without US support, Netanyahu wouldn’t dare to defy international legitimacy and law by persisting in committing further genocide against the Palestinian people,” PA spokesman Nabil Abu Rideineh said in a statement.

He urged the US administration to immediately intervene “to compel Israel to halt the aggression on Gaza and to prevent it from invading Rafah”.

The spokesman warned that any Israeli invasion of Rafah would have “extremely serious consequences for the entire region and the world”.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday joined warnings against a military operation in Rafah and called on “those with influence over Israel” to prevent further civilian casualties and displacement.

Rafah is the last remaining area in the enclave where Israel has not yet formally announced the entry of its troops to continue the onslaught against Palestinians.

Israel has waged a military offensive on Gaza since the Oct. 7, 2023 cross-border attack led by Hamas which killed some 1,200 people.

More than 34,500 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, the vast majority of whom have been women and children, with thousands of others injured amid mass destruction and severe shortages of necessities.

More than six months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins, pushing 85% of the enclave’s population into internal displacement amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water, and medicine, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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