25 Apr 2024

Israel-Hamas War: Egypt warns of catastrophic consequences as Israel declares it is proceeding with Rafah assault

Israel announced its intention to proceed with an operation in Rafah, prompting a stern response from Egypt. According to a spokesperson for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government, the operation will involve a ground assault in Rafah, although no specific timeline was provided by the defense official. 

Israel's Defense Ministry has acquired 40,000 tents, capable of accommodating 10 to 12 individuals each, to shelter Palestinians who may be displaced from Rafah ahead of the operation.

Netanyahu has consistently affirmed Israel's determination to carry out the assault on Rafah, which remains a significant population center in Gaza yet to be entered by Israeli ground forces. Israel contends that Rafah hosts four combat battalions of Hamas fighters, reinforced by numerous retreating combatants.

Rafah is home to over a million Palestinians

However, Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi issued a warning, expressing concern over the potential "catastrophic consequences" of military operations in Rafah on humanitarian conditions and regional stability. 

Rafah, located adjacent to the Egyptian border, is currently home to over a million Palestinians who fled following the outbreak of hostilities between Israel and Hamas more than six months ago.

Israel's closest ally the US has asked it to reconsider the assault on Rafah and explore alternative strategies to combat Hamas fighters.

 Israel has largely withdrawn its ground forces from southern Gaza but continues to conduct airstrikes and occasional raids into evacuated areas.

Efforts led by the US, Egypt, and Qatar to negotiate an extended ceasefire to prevent an assault on Rafah have thus far been unsuccessful. According to Gaza officials, the toll from Israel's military campaign stands at over 34,000 fatalities, with potentially thousands more buried under debris.

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