The European Union calls on Israel to “immediately” stop its military operation in Rafah

The European Union (EU) has called on Israel to “immediately” cease its military operation in Rafah, a town in the southern Gaza Strip.

This is what emerges from a press release from the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, published Wednesday on the EU website and consulted by Anadolu.

“The European Union calls on Israel to immediately cease its military operation in Rafah,” the statement said.

He added: “The continuation of the Israeli military operation in Rafah leads to more population displacements, the risk of famine and human suffering and hinders the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.”

The EU recalled in its press release that “more than a million civilians, refugees in Rafah and its surroundings, have received orders to evacuate to areas that the UN does not consider safe.”

She stressed that even if he recognized Israel’s right to defend itself, it must “do so in accordance with international humanitarian law, ensuring the safety of civilians.”

The EU called on Israel to “refrain from further aggravating an already fragile humanitarian situation in Gaza and to reopen the Rafah crossing.”

The continuation of Tel Aviv’s military operation in Rafah “would inevitably strain the EU’s relationship with Israel,” the statement added.

The EU recalled that “under international humanitarian law, Israel must authorize and facilitate the unimpeded passage of humanitarian aid to civilians.”

“The International Court of Justice clearly indicated this in its orders issued on January 26 and March 28, 2023,” the EU underlines.

She also urged “all parties to redouble their efforts to achieve an immediate ceasefire and the unconditional release of all (Israeli) hostages held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.”

The day before (Tuesday), the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, said that the situation in Gaza is “terrifying and worrying.”

During a conference at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University in the United States on the situation in the Gaza Strip, the head of European diplomacy declared: ”I was in Gaza between 2008 and 2009. I I think this is the third or fourth time that the Gaza Strip has been destroyed.”

“But this time it has been destroyed at the root and completely razed to the ground, and civilians are being killed, they are also starving and enduring unimaginable suffering,” he lamented.

Since October 7, 2023, Israel has been waging an all-out war in the Gaza Strip which has caused more than 114,000 civilian casualties (between dead and injured), mostly children and women, and nearly 10,000 people missing in a context of famine and massive destruction, according to Palestinian and UN data.

The conflict also caused an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe and massive destruction of infrastructure, which led Tel Aviv to appear before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for ‘genocide’.​​​​​​​​​

This article is originally published on aa.com.tr

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