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Reports of Israeli military offensive plan on Rafah 'alarming,' says EU foreign policy chief

'It would have catastrophic consequences worsening the already dire humanitarian situation & the unbearable civilian toll,' says Josep Borrell

10:40 - 10/02/2024 Saturday
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EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell
EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell

The EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Friday raised the alarm about the escalating humanitarian crisis in Rafah in the besieged Gaza Strip amid reports of an Israeli military offensive plan, warning that it would have catastrophic consequences.

"Reports of an Israeli military offensive on Rafah are alarming. It would have catastrophic consequences worsening the already dire humanitarian situation & the unbearable civilian toll," he said on X.

"1.4 million Palestinians are currently in Rafah without safe place to go, facing starvation," he added.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday directed the army to submit a military plan to evacuate civilians from Rafah and defeat Hamas battalions there.

“It is impossible to achieve the goal of the war of eliminating Hamas by leaving four Hamas battalions in Rafah,” stated Netanyahu's office on X.

“On the contrary, it is clear that intense activity in Rafah requires that civilians evacuate the areas of combat,” it said.

“Therefore, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the IDF and the security establishment to submit to the Cabinet a combined plan for evacuating the population and destroying the battalions,” the office added.

The Israeli Prime Minister's Office did not specify the timeframe for developing this plan.

International estimates indicate the presence of between 1.2 million-1.4 million Palestinians in Rafah after the Israeli army forced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in northern the Gaza Strip to evacuate to the south.

#Josep Borrell
#Israel
#Rafah
#Gaza Strip
3 months ago