The Israeli regime’s planned invasion of the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah has drawn widespread condemnations from international organizations around the world as well as political figures in the West.
The condemnations poured in after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the regime’s military on Friday to “prepare to operate” in and evacuate civilians from Rafah ahead of a planned ground offensive against the densely-populated city.
Rights groups have already warned against such a move, given the scale of devastation across the Gaza Strip as a result of the months-long Israeli aggression and the huge number of people trapped in the besieged area.
Rafah, housing more than 1.2 million Palestinians, is the last major population center in the Gaza Strip that Israeli troops have yet to invade and also the main point of entry for desperately-needed relief supplies.
Jasem Albudaiwi, the secretary general of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), said in a statement on Saturday that Israel’s “declared intentions” to invade Rafah would be a “blatant violation of international law and humanitarian conventions.”
Albudaiwi added that the planned invasion “threatens to escalate violence, destabilize the region’s security and stability, and lead to further deterioration and suffering for the Palestinian people.”
The GCC’s chief called on the international community to “confront these Israeli plans with a spirit of unity and shared responsibility,” and with a “deep commitment to the principles of peace, justice, and human dignity.”
European Union foreign policy Chief Josep Borrell censured Israel’s planned invasion of Rafah and said there are currently 1.4 million Palestinians in the southern city “without a safe place to go, facing starvation.”
“Reports of an Israeli military offensive on Rafah are alarming,” Borrell said in a post on his X social media account.
“It would have catastrophic consequences worsening the already dire humanitarian situation & the unbearable civilian toll.”
In another post on Saturday, Borrell echoed the warning by several EU member states that an Israeli offensive on Rafah would lead to an “unspeakable humanitarian catastrophe.”
The top EU diplomat stressed that resuming negotiations to free prisoners and suspend hostilities is the “only way to avert a bloodshed.”
US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib called on President Joe Biden to end his support for the Israeli regime’s “genocide” in Gaza after more than four months of brutal aggression.
The Palestinian-American Democratic lawmaker said Palestinians sheltering in Rafah have nowhere to go as Israel prepares to launch a major offensive on the city.
“Over 1.5 million displaced Palestinians are sheltering in Rafah, and now they are being threatened with attacks,” Tlaib said in a post on X.
“There is nowhere left for them to go. When will it be enough for @POTUS to end support for Netanyahu’s genocide?”