Hamas Warns of Catastrophe as Israel Threatens Military Action in Rafah
| IOP Desk - 10 Feb 2024

IOP News Desk

Hamas, February 10, 2024- Hamas issued a stark warning on Saturday, cautioning of potentially catastrophic consequences if the Israeli military were to launch an attack on Rafah, situated in the southernmost part of the Gaza Strip.

The warning comes amidst Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's announcement of troops' readiness to enter the densely populated city, following the deadly attacks on southern Israel on October 7.

The prospect of military action in Rafah has raised alarms among foreign governments, including the United States, and aid agencies grappling with the escalating humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Hamas, in a statement, emphasized the grave repercussions of any military incursion into Rafah, warning of the possibility of "tens of thousands of martyrs and injured."

The Palestinian group holding control in Gaza asserted that it would hold the United States, international community, and Israeli authorities accountable for any such intervention.

Rafah, bordering Egypt to the south, has become a refuge for civilians displaced by relentless Israeli airstrikes across the Gaza Strip.

With approximately half of Gaza's 2.4 million inhabitants seeking shelter in Rafah, concerns are mounting over the lack of essential supplies, including food, water, and sanitation.

Philippe Lazzarini, the head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), emphasized that a significant Israeli offensive in Rafah would only exacerbate the ongoing humanitarian tragedy.

Netanyahu's directives to military officials to prepare evacuation plans for Rafah, coupled with the aim to eliminate Hamas presence in the city, have heightened tensions.

Reports of fresh airstrikes on Rafah early Saturday have further fueled apprehensions among Palestinians about an imminent ground invasion.


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