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Spanish foreign minister urges Israel to stop Rafah military operation

May 12, 2024 at 1:25 pm

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (L) visits army units on the border between Israel and Gaza Strip near Rafah, Gaza on May 07, 2024. [Israeli Ministry of Defense – Anadolu Agency]

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares on Sunday urged Israel to stop its military operation in Rafah, Anadolu Agency reports.

“The evacuation of thousands of Palestinians is unacceptable,” he said in a post on X.

“The military operation in Rafah must stop and an even more serious humanitarian crisis should be avoided,” Albares added.

The top diplomat also said that they “demand compliance with International Humanitarian Law, the protection of civilians and access to humanitarian aid.”

The Israeli military issued on Saturday more evacuation orders for various areas in the Gaza Strip, where it has waged a war since last October.

The military had earlier ordered 100,000 displaced Palestinian residents in Rafah to evacuate to Al-Mawasi ahead of launching an invasion.

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Several countries had warned Israel against carrying out a military operation in Rafah, which houses at least 1.4 million displaced Palestinians.

Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip in retaliation for an Oct. 7, 2023 cross-border attack by Hamas which killed around 1,200 people.

Nearly 35,000 Palestinians, most of them women and children, have since been killed, and nearly 78,600 others injured, according to Palestinian health authorities.

Seven months into the conflict, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January said it is “plausible” that Tel Aviv is committing genocide in Gaza, ordering it to stop such acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

South Africa on Friday asked the ICJ to order Israel to withdraw from Rafah as part of additional emergency measures over the war.

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