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Germany warns Israeli attack on Rafah would lead humanitarian catastrophe

February 10, 2024 at 12:36 pm

German Minister of Foreign Affairs Annalena Baerbock looks on during a Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) meeting at the EU headquarters in Brussels on January 22, 2024 [JOHN THYS/AFP via Getty Images]

Germany on Saturday said an Israeli attack on Rafah in Gaza would lead to a humanitarian catastrophe, Anadolu Agency reports.

“The plight in Rafah is already incredible. 1.3 million people are seeking protection from the fighting in a very small area. An offensive by the Israeli army on Rafah would be a humanitarian catastrophe in the making. The people in Gaza cannot disappear into thin air,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Bearbock said on X.

“Israel must defend itself against Hamas terror, but at the same time alleviate the suffering of the civilian population as much as possible,” she stressed.

Against this backdrop, another pause to the fighting is needed, Bearbock said, adding she would discuss the matter again next week in Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the military to submit a combined plan to evacuate Palestinian residents from Rafah, home to more than 1 million residents seeking refuge from war, and to defeat the last “Hamas battalions.”

The Palestinians have sought refuge in Rafah as Israel pounded the rest of the enclave following the Oct. 7 Hamas incursion. The bombardment has killed nearly 28,000 people, beside causing mass destruction and shortages of basic necessities.

READ: Israel PM orders evacuation of Rafah ahead of ground assault