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Egypt warns of ’catastrophic repercussions’ if Israeli attacks Rafah

BI Desk || BusinessInsider

Published: 00:42, 28 February 2024  
Egypt warns of ’catastrophic repercussions’ if Israeli attacks Rafah

Photo: Collected

Egypt warned on Tuesday that Israel's planned ground invasion of Rafah in southern Gaza would have "catastrophic repercussions" for peace in the Middle East.

Foreign ministers from Arab League countries told the United Nations Human Rights Council that some nations were turning a blind eye to the suffering in Gaza.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said the extreme polarisation exposed by the Gaza war had laid bare the double standards of some members of the UN's top rights body, reports BSS/AFP.

Israel has said a truce with Hamas would delay, not prevent, a ground invasion of Rafah on the Egyptian border, where an estimated 1.4 million Palestinian civilians have sought refuge from the war.

"The world is witnessing the most heinous crimes and violations against the Palestinian people," Shoukry said.

He called for an immediate ceasefire and urged Israel not to attack Rafah.

"Any military action in the present circumstances would have catastrophic repercussions that undermine peace in the region," he warned.

The war in Gaza began after the Hamas militant group that controls the Palestinian territory launched an attack on October 7 that killed about 1,160 people in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli figures.

Hamas militants also took hostages, 130 of whom remain in Gaza.

Israel's retaliatory bombardment and ground offensive in Gaza have killed at least 29,878 people, most of them women and children, according to the territory's Hamas-run health ministry.

Shoukry said some countries on the 47-member Human Rights Council in Geneva were shying away from the firm action they had taken over other conflicts.

"It seems that life in Gaza is not worthy enough of their attention, that the massacre of tens of thousands of children fails to shake their otherwise all-too-sensitive conscience," he said.

"The lives of Gaza's children are seemingly less valuable than others.

"This preludes the... collapse of the international system, including this council."

Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Abdullah al-Yahya said the "brutal crimes of the Israeli occupation forces against defenceless civilians" had led to "catastrophic crisis and destruction".

Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said the world "cannot keep turning a blind eye" to the "unprecedented human disaster" in Gaza.

Qatari International Cooperation Minister Lolwah Al-Khater said Gaza was witnessing a "genocidal war", while the situation in the Israeli-occupied West Bank was also deteriorating.

"Sponsoring this Israeli exceptionalism above international law by some global powers should stop," she told the council.

Meanwhile Tunisian Foreign Minister Nabil Ammar, speaking via video-link, said human rights were being violated in Gaza "with the utmost barbarism" and said the international community had been "paralysed because of a handful of countries".

Nagad
Walton