Keir Starmer warns Israel’s plan to invade Rafah could be ‘catastrophic’

An anticipated Israeli invasion of the southern Gaza metropolis of Rafah could be “catastrophic” for civilians, Keir Starmer has warned.

Despite rising alarm amongst assist companies and the worldwide group, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has stated sending troops into the world is important to get rid of Hamas. Rafah, which is on the border with Egypt, is likely one of the solely areas not but focused by Israel’s floor offensive. It is offering refuge to greater than half of Gaza’s 2.3million inhabitants who’ve fled preventing elsewhere.

But in line with Israel, it’s the final remaining stronghold for Hamas fighters in Gaza, after greater than 4 months of battle triggered by the militant group’s lethal October 7.

The Labour chief tweeted: “There are over 1.4 million displaced Palestinians in Rafah and it is the gateway to aid for Gaza – an Israeli offensive there would be catastrophic. The fighting must stop now. We need a sustainable ceasefire.”

Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron additionally raised issues, posting: “Deeply concerned about the prospect of a military offensive in Rafah – over half of Gaza’s population are sheltering in the area. The priority must be an immediate pause in the fighting to get aid in and hostages out, then progress towards a sustainable, permanent ceasefire.”

Tensions have risen between Mr Netanyahu and ally the US, which has warned Israeli forces {that a} floor offensive within the densely populated border city could be a “disaster”, whereas the EU and the UN have additionally raised issues. A army operation in Rafah may drive the closure of its crossing, reducing off the supply of desperately wanted meals and medical provides and exacerbating the already dire humanitarian state of affairs within the besieged territory.

The newest figures from the Hamas-run Gaza well being ministry put the general Palestinian demise toll at greater than 28,100. Mr Netanyahu introduced on Friday that he had requested the army to organize to enter Rafah and evacuate tons of of hundreds of individuals. It has raised questions over the place civilians might be moved to, with Israeli evacuation orders now protecting two-thirds of the territory.

The Israeli PM’s pledge to enter Rafah got here as he additionally rejected Hamas’s ceasefire proposals.