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Russia FM urges Israel to observe international humanitarian law in Rafah

May 8, 2024 at 2:31 pm

Spokeswoman for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova, in Moscow, Russia on November 27, 2020. [ RUS Foreign Affairs Ministry – Anadolu Agency]

The Russian Foreign Ministry, today, called on Israel to strictly observe international humanitarian law after its tanks invaded the Rafah Crossing in the Gaza Strip.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, told reporters, “An additional destabilising factor, including for the entire region, was the launch of an Israeli military ground operation in Rafah.”

“About one and a half million Palestinian civilians are concentrated there. In this regard, we demand strict compliance with the provisions of international humanitarian law.”

Speaking more broadly about efforts to find a lasting settlement in the Middle East, Zakharova added, “I would like to call it a settlement, but, alas, it is far from a settlement.”

“There are no prospects for resolving the situation in the Gaza Strip. On the contrary, the situation in the conflict zone is escalating daily.”

On Monday, Israeli forces issued evacuation orders for Palestinians in eastern Rafah, a move widely seen as a prelude to the Occupation state’s long-feared attack on the city, home to some 1.5 million displaced Palestinians. The military also posted maps on its social media accounts illustrating evacuation routes.

According to Israel’s Army Radio, the decision to evacuate residents from eastern Rafah was taken late Sunday by the Israeli Cabinet. It said that around 100,000 civilians believed to be present in the area were set to be evacuated.

Israel launched its offensive ostensibly to destroy the Palestinian Resistance Movement, Hamas, after its October attack on southern Israel. The Occupation state stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which it denies.

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. South Africa, which took the apartheid state to the ICJ, has since claimed that Israel is ignoring the Court’s ruling.

The subsequent Israeli military offensive has, to date, killed 35,000 Palestinians, most of them children and women, and wounded 70,000 more. An estimated 8,000 Palestinians are missing, presumed dead, under the rubble of their homes destroyed by Israel.

READ: All main crossings in the Gaza Strip are closed: UNRWA