Egypt rejects Israeli calls for conducting military operation in Rafah

Ahram Online , Sunday 11 Feb 2024

Egypt stressed on Sunday its complete rejection of the statements made by high-ranking officials in the Israeli government regarding the intention of Israeli forces to launch a military operation in the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

A picture shows a makeshift tent camp for displaced Palestinians in rainy weather in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. Photo: AFP


According to the Egyptian Foreign Ministry's official statement, Cairo further warned of the dire consequences of such action, particularly in light of the risks of worsening the humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip.

Moreover, Egypt called for uniting all international and regional efforts to prevent the targeting of the Palestinian city of Rafah, which now shelters around 1.4 million displaced Palestinians who consider it the last safe area in Gaza.

The statement affirmed that targeting Rafah, along with Israel’s continued policy of obstructing access to humanitarian aid, is an actual contribution to implementing the policy of displacing the Palestinian people and liquidating their cause.

In this regard, Cairo considered such acts to be a clear violation of the provisions of international law, international humanitarian law, and the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly.

Additionally, Egypt emphasised that it will continue its communications with various parties to reach an immediate ceasefire, enforce the truce, and exchange prisoners and detainees, calling on influential international powers to pressure Israel to respond to these efforts and avoid taking measures that further complicate the situation and cause harm to the interests of everyone without exception.

Early Sunday, Egypt threatened to suspend its peace treaty with Israel if the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip expands into the densely populated Gaza border town of Rafah, two Egyptian officials and a Western diplomat told AP.

The threat to suspend the 1978 Camp David Accords came after Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said sending troops into Rafah was necessary to win the four-month-old war against the Palestinian movement Hamas in Gaza.

Gaza’s southern city of Rafah is now the last refuge for Palestinians. Less than 300,000 people typically inhabit the city, but now – due to Israeli airstrikes and ground offensive in other parts of central and northern Gaza – it accommodates an additional 1.4 million people.

Since the start of its brutal war on Gaza, Israel has killed over 28,000 Palestinians, most of whom are women and children, threatening to shatter the lives of tens of thousands currently settled in the crowded UN-operated tent camps and shelters near the border.

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