Egypt warned Sunday of "dire consequences" from Israel's planned ground offensive in Rafah city in the southern Gaza Strip.
The Israeli army plans to launch a ground offensive in Rafah, home to more than 1 million residents seeking refuge from war, to defeat what Tel Aviv calls the remaining "Hamas battalions." The planned offensive has triggered concerns of a humanitarian catastrophe in the city.
"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," the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Egypt said it rejects Israeli official statements about the Rafah offensive, warning that the planned onslaught "will have dire consequences, particularly in light of the risks of worsening the humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip."
It called for uniting all international and regional efforts to prevent the planned attack on Rafah, which now shelters around 1.4 million displaced Palestinians who consider it the last safe area in Gaza.
The Israeli army on Sunday approved a plan for a ground offensive in Rafah, according to the Israeli public broadcaster KAN.
Palestinians have sought refuge in Rafah as Israel pounded the rest of the enclave since Oct. 7. The ensuing Israeli bombardment has killed more than 28,000 victims and caused mass destruction and shortages of necessities.
On Wednesday, the White House warned that an Israeli offensive in Rafah "would be a disaster" for Palestinians.
The Israeli war on Gaza has 85% of the territory's population internally displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure was damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.
In late 2023, South Africa filed a case at the International Court of Justice, accusing Israel of failing to uphold its commitments under the 1948 Genocide Convention.
The UN court, in its interim ruling in January, ruled that South Africa's claims are plausible. It ordered provisional measures for Israel's government to desist from genocidal acts, and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.