THE NEW ARAB: Israel's Rafah invasion may be south Gaza's famine 'tipping point'

THE NEW ARAB: Israel's Rafah invasion may be south Gaza's famine 'tipping point'
10 May 2024

Amid escalating tensions, an Israeli ground invasion of Rafah, Gaza, looms, raising fears of exacerbating starvation-related deaths beyond a critical threshold, as highlighted by an advocacy group. The seizure of the Rafah border crossing by Israeli forces intensifies concerns regarding the already dire humanitarian situation in the densely populated enclave. With over a million people sheltering in Rafah, the potential consequences of a full-scale attack are alarming, prompting warnings from global figures like UN Chief António Guterres, who termed it a "humanitarian catastrophe" in the making.

Civilians in eastern Rafah are under evacuation orders, triggering a desperate scramble for safety among thousands. Reports from the ground depict a scene of fear and uncertainty, with disrupted communication exacerbating anxieties. Despite Israeli claims of expanding "humanitarian areas," civil society groups assert that there are no truly safe zones in Gaza, echoing Guterres' statement that "there is no safe place" in the territory.

The humanitarian crisis has drawn urgent pleas from aid organizations for diplomatic intervention to halt the violence and establish an immediate ceasefire. The International Rescue Committee (IRC) emphasizes the need for all parties to cease hostilities and calls upon the international community to leverage diplomatic influence to prevent further escalation. Meanwhile, the toll of the seven-month conflict continues to mount, with Gaza's health ministry reporting a staggering number of casualties.

The gravity of the situation is underscored by South Africa's decision to take legal action against Israel at the International Court of Justice, accusing it of "genocidal acts" in Gaza. The ICJ's acknowledgment of a plausible risk of Israel violating its obligations under the UN Genocide Convention further amplifies international scrutiny and condemnation of the conflict's toll on civilian lives.

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