Friday, May 24, 2024

Rafah attack ‘biggest catastrophe in Palestinian people’s history’: President Abbas

An Israeli ground invasion of Rafah in the Gaza Strip would force most of the Palestinian population to flee Gaza, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has stated.

Abbas told a special meeting of the World Economic Forum in Riyadh that about 1.5 million Palestinians are sheltering in Rafah and only a “small strike” would force those people to flee.

“The biggest catastrophe in the Palestinian people’s history would then happen,” he said.

“We call on the United States of America to ask Israel to not carry on the Rafah attack. America is the only country able to prevent Israel from committing this crime.”

Abbas reiterated he rejects the displacement of Palestinians into Jordan and Egypt, and added he’s concerned once Israel completes its operation in Gaza, it will attempt to force the Palestinian population out of the occupied West Bank and into Jordan.

Israel, which has threatened for weeks to launch an all-out assault on the neighborhood saying its goal is to wipeout Hamas presence there, stepped up airstrikes on Rafah last week.

Western countries, including Israel’s closest ally the United States, have pleaded with it to hold back from attacking the southern city, which abuts the Egyptian border and is sheltering more than a million Palestinians who fled Israel’s seven-month long aggression against much of the rest of Gaza.

Abbas stated that Israel had killed more than 34,000 civilians, mostly children, women, and the elderly, and injured 75,000, in addition to destroying 75% of buildings, institutions, roads, mosques, and universities in the Gaza Strip.

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