Creating new perspectives since 2009

UK foreign minister ‘deeply concerned’ over looming Israeli ground offensive in Rafah

February 11, 2024 at 10:13 am

UK Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs David Cameron arrives Downing Street to attend the weekly Cabinet meeting in London, United Kingdom on January 09, 2024. [Raşid Necati Aslım – Anadolu Agency]

The UK Foreign Minister David Cameron on Saturday said he is “deeply concerned” about the prospect of an Israeli military offensive in Rafah, as “over half of Gaza’s population are sheltering in the area”, Anadolu Agency reports.

“The priority must be an immediate pause in the fighting to get aid in and hostages out, then progress towards a sustainable, permanent ceasefire,” Cameron said on X.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday asked the Israeli army to remobilize reserve soldiers in preparation for a ground offensive in the city of Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, the Israeli media reported.

READ: Saudi Arabia calls for 'urgent' UN Security Council meeting to prevent Israeli invasion toward Rafah

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 more than 28,000 people, besides causing mass destruction and shortages of basic necessities.

The Israeli offensive has left 85% of Gaza’s population internally displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure was damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Last month, the International Court of Justice issued an interim order demanding that Israel stop obstructing aid deliveries into Gaza and improve the humanitarian situation in the enclave following a lawsuit by South Africa, accusing Tel Aviv of committing genocide.

READ: Netanyahu asks army to remobilize reserve soldiers in preparation for ground offensive in Rafah