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  • 23 Jun, 2024

Israel pushes further into Rafah

Israel pushes further into Rafah

Top US diplomat Blinken says Israel has no post-war plan for Gaza

U.N. human rights chief Volker Turk said Sunday the ongoing fighting and the evacuation orders brought “massive displacement of an already profoundly traumatized population.”

Turk questioned where people should go in Gaza, saying there is “no safe place.”

“I have repeatedly expressed my alarm about the catastrophic impact of a possible full-scale offensive on Rafah, including the possibility of further atrocity crimes,” Turk said. “I can see no way that the latest evacuation orders, much less a full assault, in an area with an extremely dense presence of civilians, can be reconciled with the binding requirements of international humanitarian law and with the two sets of binding provisional measures ordered by the International Court of Justice.”

Israeli forces advanced deeper into the southern Gaza town of Rafah on Sunday, as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed displeasure with the Israeli operation and stressed the need to protect civilians.

The US State Department said Sunday evening that Blinken “reiterated US opposition to a major ground military operation in Rafah” during a telephone call with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

The statement said Blinken also reaffirmed the United States' commitment to "the common goal of defeating Hamas," while calling on Gallant to "help resolve distribution issues in the Gaza Strip as Israel pursues the objectives of Hamas.

Around 300,000 of the 1.3 million Palestinians who fled to southern Gaza a few months ago on orders from the Israeli military to escape attacks on Hamas militants in northern Gaza have now been ordered to move again, this time northwest of Rafah, an area along Gaza's Mediterranean coast.

Blinken said on NBC's "Meet the Press" early Sunday that Israel has no concrete plans to protect Palestinians or provide adequate humanitarian aid.

"There are other important things," Blinken said. “We also do not yet see a plan for what will happen after the end of the war in Gaza, because the trajectory that Israel is on at the moment is that even if Israel goes into Rafah and does the heavy lifting, There are still thousands of armed Hamas members in the country.

A senior US diplomat said: ``We have seen Hamas return to areas that Israel has cleared in the north, including in Khan Yunis.''

Blinken warned of continued chaos.

"Israel is potentially poised to inherit an insurgency that will leave behind large numbers of armed Hamas, or it will leave a void filled with chaos, filled with anarchy and probably filled again by Hamas," he said. he declared. “We spoke with them about better ways to achieve long-term outcomes and lasting security for the Gaza Strip itself and the region more broadly.»

"The quickest way to end this is for Hamas to hand over the hostages. We can get a ceasefire and build something stronger and more durable from there," Blinken said. Different teams continue to communicate.

“It is also the best way to ensure that we actually increase humanitarian aid and better protect civilians in the Gaza Strip,” he said. “He says Hamas is interested. His actions definitely indicate otherwise. ”

On Sunday, political divisions in the United States over U.S. policy toward the Gaza Strip became clear.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, a progressive independent who supports Democrats who oppose Israel's handling of the war, told NBC that Israel "should not receive a penny of U.S. military aid." Israel... launched a war against the entire Palestinian people, and the results were absolutely catastrophic. »

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham compared the war between Israel and Hamas to World War II, telling NBC: "Why did we abandon two... A nuclear bomb between Hiroshima and Nagasaki? We could not afford to lose to end the war. ...That was the right decision. ... I do everything I need to survive like Israel and Jewish nation. "

On the battlefield, in addition to the attack on Rafa, Israel bombed other areas in the northern part of Jabalia refugees and Gaza. The region suffered widespread destruction and was largely isolated by Israeli forces for months. UN officials say there is “large-scale famine”. Israeli warplanes and artillery attacked camps east of Gaza City and the Zeitoun area, where troops have been fighting insurgents for more than a week, residents said.

 

The war began in October. 7 According to Israeli officials, Hamas attacked Israel, killing 1,200 people and taking approximately 250 hostages. The ensuing Israeli counterattack in the Gaza Strip killed more than 35,000 Palestinians, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, with the tally including civilians and fighters, but most of the dead were women and children. It is said that it was.