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Israel committed genocide in Rafah, says Cuban president

February 13, 2024 at 3:13 pm

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel delivers a speech wearing a Palestinian kufiya during a meeting with young Palestinian medical students and graduates at the Palace of the Revolution in Havana on November 17, 2023. [Photo by ADALBERTO ROQUE/AFP via Getty Images]

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel today criticised the Israeli military’s deadly bombing campaign in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah as a genocide, denouncing it as deeply troubling.

He asserted that Israel had engaged in acts of genocide and launched a brutal attack on the area where over a million Palestinians sought refuge.

He wrote on X, formerly Twitter: “Israel committed genocide and brutally attacked the place where more than a million Palestinians took refuge. We condemn in the strongest terms what is happening in Gaza.”

On Sunday night, flouting the provisional ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Israel launched an air campaign on Rafah, killing more than 100 Palestinians, reported Wafa news agency.

The city had been declared a “safe zone” by occupation forces and over a million Palestinians had taken shelter there after being forced out of their homes in the northern areas of the Strip since 7 October.

Israeli fighter jets also targeted displaced people near the Egyptian border and the Kuwaiti Hospital, west of the city.

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The attacks came after human rights organisations and governments have called on Israel not to attack Rafah as civilians have nowhere to go to seek safety, warning that “a bloodbath” will ensue.

The Maldives yesterday also strongly condemned Israel’s “threats to launch a full-scale invasion” on Rafah.

“The forced displacement and inhumane attacks against innocent Palestinians and the obstruction of humanitarian assistance by the Israeli occupation forces is against international laws and regulations and tantamount to war crimes,” said a Foreign Ministry statement.

It urged the international community to “take decisive action to prevent the continuation of the genocidal acts of the Israeli forces,” and pressure Israeli authorities to abide by the provisional measures of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The interim Taliban administration in Afghanistan also joined the chorus against the Israeli attacks on Rafah.

“The continuation of brutality of Zionist forces on Rafah city will cause a major disaster and make the ongoing crisis spiral out,” the Foreign Ministry in Kabul said.

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

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