March 4, 2024

White House says it will not support Israeli attack on Rafah without a ‘credible’ plan to protect civilians

The White House mentioned on Monday that it will not support an Israeli army offensive on the Gazan metropolis of Rafah without “a proper, executable, effective and credible plan for the safety of the more than a million Palestinians that are taking refuge there.”

It comes after Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu referred to as for his army to develop a plan to evacuate town, the place half of Gaza’s pre-war inhabitants is now crammed into sprawling tent encampments and overcrowded UN shelters, forward of a planned attack on Hamas holdouts there.

Israeli airstrikes killed greater than 100 individuals within the metropolis in a single day, in accordance to the Palestine Red Crescent Society.

US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby mentioned that evacuating Rafah in a method that protects civilians can be a “heavy lift, but that’s the conversation that we want to keep having with our Israeli counterparts.”

When requested if he believes it’s reasonable or viable for Israel to have a aim of shifting civilians out of the trail of their deliberate operation in Rafah, Mr Kirby replied: “Let’s see what the Israeli Defense Forces come up with.”

“We can’t tell you what’s going to look like, that’s really for the IDF to speak to, but it absolutely has to be accounted for,” he mentioned.

“We wouldn’t support operations given the current circumstances where you have, again, more than a million people there with nowhere to go and no plan for them to go so that they can be safe,” he added.

Mr Netanyahu told ABC News on Sunday that Israel would provide “safe passage” to civilians wishing to leave Rafah.

When asked where they could go, the Israeli prime minister said: “You know, the areas that we’ve cleared north of Rafah, plenty of areas there. But we are working out a detailed plan.”

But aid agencies operating on the ground in Gaza, and even Israel’s Western allies, have expressed scepticism that a plan to evacuate 1.5 million people from Rafah safely exists.

“No conflict may be allowed in a gigantic refugee camp,” said Jan Egeland, Secretary-General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, warning of a “massacre” if Israeli operations expand there.

UN humanitarian co-ordinator Jamie McGoldrick told the BBC that people in Rafah would have “nowhere to go” in the event of an Israeli offensive.

“The secure areas that have been declared are now not secure. And if these individuals have to transfer – the place can they transfer? We are actually scared of the horrific nature of the place we’re might solely ever worsen,” he said.

British foreign secretary David Cameron said that Israel should “stop and think seriously” before taking further action in Rafah.

He added that is “impossible to see how you can fight a war amongst these people, there is nowhere for them to go”.

Nadia Hardman, refugee and migrant rights researcher at Human Rights Watch, said: “Forcing the over one million displaced Palestinians in Rafah to again evacuate without a safe place to go would be unlawful and would have catastrophic consequences. There is nowhere safe to go in Gaza.”

More than 27,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israel’s offensive in the densely populated territory, most of them women and children, according to the health ministry in Gaza. The war was launched by Israel in response to a surprise Hamas attack on 7 October that killed 1,200 people. Some 250 people were also kidnapped and taken back to Gaza.

Some 80 per cent of Gaza’s inhabitants of two.3 million have been displaced by the preventing. Israel’s offensive is now urgent additional south in direction of town of Rafah, the place most of these displaced individuals at the moment are sheltering.