“Terrifying”: the world worries about an Israeli offensive in Rafah, refuge for many Palestinians

United States, United Kingdom… Several countries and international organizations were concerned on Monday about the consequences ofa possible Israeli offensive in Rafahin the Gaza Strip, where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have found refuge.

The United States is still opposed to a large-scale Israeli military operation in Rafah without action to protect civilians in this Palestinian town on the border with Egypt, State Department spokesperson Matthew said on Monday. Miller. “Without a project in this sense which is credible, and which they (Israel, Editor’s note) are able to carry out, we do not support a large-scale military operation,” he told journalists.

The United Kingdom had previously called on Israel to “think seriously” before launching a major offensive on this town in southern Gaza. “We are very concerned about what is happening in Rafah, because, let us be clear, the people who are there have often moved four, five or six times before arriving there (…), they have no nowhere to go,” Foreign Minister David Cameron told reporters.

Deeply concerned about the prospect of a military offensive in Rafah – over half of Gaza’s population are sheltering in the area.

The priority must be an immediate pause in the fighting to get aid in and hostages out, then progress towards a sustainable, permanent ceasefire.

— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) February 10, 2024

” Creepy “

“Given the carnage that has taken place so far in Gaza, we can quite imagine what will happen in Rafah,” said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. the man. Volker Türk in a press release. “The possibility of a full-blown military incursion into Rafah – where some 1.5 million Palestinians are crowded against the Egyptian border with nowhere to escape – is terrifying,” he said, stressing “the prospect that extremely high numbers of civilians, again primarily children and women, are likely to be killed and injured.”

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights also expressed concern about the impact of an offensive on the humanitarian aid on which the Palestinians depend. “This incursion into Rafah could also mean an end to the meager humanitarian aid coming in and being distributed, which would have enormous consequences for Gaza as a whole, including for the hundreds of thousands of people who are at risk of starving and dying. of famine in the North,” he said.

VIDEO. “It’s total chaos”: story of a day in Rafah with a humanitarian who was trying to flee Gaza

“I am deeply concerned by reports of the bombing and a potential ground offensive by Israeli forces in Rafah,” said the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Karim Khan.

“As I have repeatedly emphasized, those who do not respect the law will not have to complain afterwards if my office acts in accordance with its mandate,” added the prosecutor, as the ICC opened an investigation in 2021 into Israel, but also Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups, for possible war crimes in the Palestinian Territories. “To All Concerned: My office is actively investigating all alleged crimes committed. Those who violate the law will be held accountable.”

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