Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said Monday that civilian bloodshed and destruction from an Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip were “unprecedented,” Anadolu Agency reports.
“We cannot accept further loss of civilian lives in the Gaza Strip,” Shoukry said during a press conference with his Slovenian counterpart Tanja Fajon in the capital Ljubljana.
The top diplomat called for access to humanitarian aid for Palestinian civilians in the blockaded enclave.
“The situation in Gaza is worsening and constitutes a violation of international law,” Shoukry said.
“We reject, by all means, the displacement of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip,” he stressed.
The Israeli army plans to launch a ground offensive in Rafah, home to more than 1.4 million residents seeking refuge from war, to defeat what Tel Aviv calls the remaining “Hamas battalions.”
Palestinians have sought refuge in Rafah as Israel pounded the rest of the enclave since 7 October. The ensuing Israeli bombardment has killed more than 28,340 victims and caused mass destruction and shortages of necessities.
The Israeli war on Gaza has 85% of the territory’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.
In late 2023, South Africa filed a case at the International Court of Justice, accusing Israel of failing to uphold its commitments under the 1948 Genocide Convention.
In its interim ruling in January, the UN court ruled that South Africa’s claims are plausible. It ordered provisional measures for Israel’s government to desist from genocidal acts, and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.