GAZA – Europe is raising its voice. International pressure for a cease-fire agreement between Israel and the Islamist movement Hamas intensified on Tuesday, February 13, after Israel announced an upcoming offensive on Rafah, the final refuge for more than a million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
In the face of international fears, Benjamin Netanyahu assured Sunday that Israel would remain open to the population. “safe passage” To leave a town located south of the Gaza Strip, without specifying which destination. Palestinian families, many already displaced multiple times and fearful of being displaced again, began dismantling their tents and gathering their belongings on Tuesday.
The UN will not associate itself with it “Forcible Displacement of Population” In Rafah, UN Secretary General’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric warned.
As you can see in the video at the top of the articleThe possibility provoked anger from the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell. “They are going to migrate” Palestinians: ” Or ? On the moon ? »the union’s high representative asked in Brussels
For Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The latter also requested an end to arms sales to the Israeli military.
Release of hostages
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently ordered his army to prepare an offensive on Rafah, home to 1.4 million Palestinians, more than half of the region’s total population, according to the UN, most of whom fled the four-year war. months
He reiterated his determination to continue on Monday “Military Pressure to Complete Victory” On Hamas, of which Rafah is “The Last Bastion”to release “All Our Hostages”.
According to the authorities of the Palestinian Islamic Movement, a few hours ago, Israel freed two hostages, Israeli-Argentinians, on the border with Egypt, in Rafah, during a night operation with bombings that killed about a hundred people. Power in Gaza since 2007.
“Unbearable” humanitarian situation
The United States, Israel’s main ally, opposes the large-scale operation without a solution for civilians stuck on the closed border with Egypt in the region’s far south.
US President Joe Biden has called for a plan from Israeli forces “reliable” Those who are there to save civilians in Rafah “Open and Vulnerable”During a meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan at the White House on Monday.
He further thanked Jordan for providing humanitarian aid to Gaza, including there “a few days” : Abdullah II “Personally boarded the plane and participated in the airdrop of emergency medical supplies to Gaza”..
“We cannot afford an Israeli attack on Rafah”Where the humanitarian situation already exists “unbearable”His part asked for Abdallah II, who also called “Immediate Permanent Ceasefire” in Gaza.
“The United States is working on an agreement to release the hostages (…), which will immediately bring a period of at least six weeks of peace to Gaza”.For his part suggested the American president.
China, for its part, on Tuesday called on Israel to stop “as fast as possible” Its military operation in Rafah, in order “To prevent an even graver humanitarian disaster”.
Over 28,000 dead in Gaza
The war was triggered by an unprecedented attack by Hamas commandos who infiltrated southern Israel from the Gaza Strip on October 7, resulting in the deaths of more than 1,160 people, most of whom were civilians, that day. , according to AFP calculations based on official Israeli data.
In return, the Israeli government promised “destroy” The Islamist movement he regards as an organization “terrorist”Like the United States and the European Union.
According to the Hamas government’s Ministry of Health, the Israeli offensive killed 28,473 people in the Gaza Strip, most of them civilians.
According to Israel, 130 hostages are still in Gaza, 29 of whom are believed to be dead, out of about 250 abducted on October 7. A week-long ceasefire in November allowed the release of 105 hostages in exchange for 240 Palestinians detained by Israel.
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