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Israel should not attack Rafah: Italian deputy prime minister

February 17, 2024 at 11:38 am

Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani speaks during the opening session of the Italy-Africa conference in Rome, Italy, on 29January 2024 [Riccardo De Luca – Anadolu Agency]

The Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister stated on Friday that Israel should refrain from attacking Rafah and should wait for a cease-fire, emphasising that any cessation of hostilities cannot be one-sided, Anadolu Agency reports.

Antonio Tajani held a news conference after he landed in Germany late Friday to attend the 60th Munich Security Conference and said foreign ministers of G7 countries will hold their first meeting on Saturday under the Italian presidency as part of the Conference.

He stressed that G7 countries could move toward a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip for the release of hostages.

“If Hamas also wants the good of its people, it must stop all acts of war and release the hostages,” he said. “Without their release, any negotiations are difficult.”

Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip since the 7 October Hamas attack, killing at least 28,340 people and injuring 67,984 others, while nearly 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed in the Hamas attack.

The Israeli war on Gaza has pushed 85% of the territory’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

READ: Rafah residents: ‘We will not leave our land, we will protect the resistance’