G7 opposes 'full scale' Israeli military operation in Rafah

AFP , Friday 19 Apr 2024

Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven nations said Friday they opposed a full-scale military operation in Rafah by Israel as that would have "catastrophic consequences on the civilian population".

Foreign Ministers attend an Indo-Pacific meeting on the sidelines of the G7 Foreign Ministers meeting on Capri Island, Italy. AFP


Ministers from Italy, the UK, US, France, Germany, Japan and Canada also slammed the "unacceptable number of civilians" killed in Gaza by Israel's army.

Israel has vowed to send troops into Gaza's overcrowded Rafah area.

"We reiterate our opposition to a full scale military operation in Rafah that would have catastrophic consequences on the civilian population," the ministers said in a statement.

Israel has faced growing global opposition to the relentless war that has reduced much of Gaza to rubble, while its 2.4 million people have suffered under an Israeli siege.

"We deplore all losses of civilian lives," G7 ministers said at a meeting on Italy's island of Capri.

They said they "note with great concern the unacceptable number of civilians, including thousands of women, children and persons in vulnerable situations who have been killed in Gaza".

Israel has killed at least 33,970 Palestinians in Gaza, mostly women and children.

The US and Israel held a high-level virtual meeting on Thursday, the White House confirmed.

A White House readout of the meeting said the two sides discussed Iran's attack and new sanctions announced by President Biden on Thursday, before moving on to "the shared objective to see Hamas defeated in Rafah."

"US participants expressed concerns with various courses of action in Rafah, and Israeli participants agreed to take these concerns into account and to have further follow up discussion between experts," the readout said.

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