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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Israel Declares War on Rafah, the Last Safe Zone in Gaza


Men walk along a street ravaged by Israeli bombing in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on February, 2024 (Photo by Mohammed ABED / AFP) -- 龘雷, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons


By Global News Service


Despite repeated warnings from world leaders, international institutions, and aid agencies, Israel has intensified its bombardment of the city of Rafah in southern Gaza, where more than 1.4 million displaced Palestinians from other parts of Gaza are currently taking refuge and are effectively trapped.


Countries such as the Netherlands, France, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, along with the European Union have released statements expressing concern over Israel’s threat to carry out a ground invasion of Rafah. They have strongly urged Israel not to go ahead with its planned invasion of the city.


Egypt has warned that if Israel goes ahead with the attack on Rafah and tries to forcibly transfer the displaced Palestinians in Gaza to Egyptian territory, then all peace and security agreements could be terminated. These include the historic Camp David Accords of 1978 as well as the border security arrangement at the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza.


Hamas, which is currently engaged in ceasefire negotiations with Israel mediated by Egypt and Qatar, has said that any invasion of Rafah would immediately “torpedo” any negotiation efforts.


The World Health Organization’s chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, noted that “proceeding with the plans could have gravely devastating consequences for the 1.4 million people who have nowhere else left to go, and who have almost no place left to seek health care.”


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