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Israeli operation on Rafah would lead to humanitarian catastrophe: EU foreign policy chief

In a statement posted on X, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell expressed his concern over the potential consequences of an Israeli operation in Rafah. He added that multiple member states of the EU have also issued warnings about the potential for a dire humanitarian crisis and strained relations with Egypt.

Anadolu Agency WORLD
Published February 11,2024

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell warned Saturday that a potential Israeli operation in Rafah would lead to a humanitarian catastrophe.

"I echo the warning by several EU member states that an Israeli offensive on Rafah would lead to an unspeakable humanitarian catastrophe and grave tensions with Egypt," he wrote on X. "Resuming negotiations to free hostages and suspend hostilities is the only way to avert a bloodshed."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked the army Saturday to remobilize reserve soldiers in preparation for a ground offensive in Rafah in southern the Gaza Strip, Israeli media reported.

Palestinians have sought refuge in Rafah as Israel has pounded the rest of the enclave following an Oct. 7 incursion by the Palestinian resistance group, Hamas.

The ensuing Israeli bombardment has killed more than 28,000 victims, caused mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

The offensive has left 85% of Gaza'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.

Last month, the International Court of Justice issued an interim order demanding Israel stop obstructing aid deliveries into Gaza and improve the humanitarian situation in the enclave following a lawsuit by South Africa that accused Tel Aviv of committing genocide.