Warnings Over Israel’s Plans for Rafah Come From All Corners

International alarm over Israel’s plans for a ground offensive in Rafah, in southern Gaza, has intensified in recent days, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vows to press ahead with plans to invade the city near the Egyptian border.

Over half of the Gaza Strip’s entire population of more than two million is sheltering in Rafah, according to the United Nations, an area of about 25 square miles. Many of them were repeatedly pushed southward by Israeli military orders to move into so-called safe zones. They are now trapped against Gaza’s southernmost edge, largely living in makeshift tents with little food or clean water, under aerial bombardment and awaiting the terrifying prospect of soldiers advancing on them once again.

Mr. Netanyahu has ordered the Israeli military to draw up plans to evacuate civilians from Rafah before the offensive, though human rights groups say there is little chance that an evacuation of such scale could be carried out in compliance with international law. They also say that because Rafah is the primary portal for aid to Gaza, any military operations there would have disastrous consequences on the entire enclave.

Warnings against the offensive have come from nearly every part of the world, including from Israel’s most powerful allies.

Here are some of the most notable.

  • The United States: A ground invasion of Rafah should not proceed “without a credible and executable plan” for ensuring the safety of displaced civilians, President Biden told Mr. Netanyahu in a phone call on Sunday, according to the White House.

    The U.S. is a top financial backer of the Israeli military, and its most steadfast diplomatic ally. On Tuesday, John F. Kirby, Mr. Biden’s national security communications adviser, declined to answer questions about what the United States would do if Israel moved on Rafah without such a plan, saying, “Let’s see what they come up with.”

Back to top button