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No humanitarian crisis in Rafah, Israel's Netanyahu claims

May 15, 2024 at 5:07 pm

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl military cemetery on 13 May, 2024 [COHEN-MAGEN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed, on Wednesday, that there is no humanitarian crisis in the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, Anadolu Agency reports.

In a video statement, Netanyahu said the Israeli army is engaged in combat across Gaza, including in Jabalya in the north, Zeitoun in Gaza City and Rafah in the south.

He claimed that the Israeli army is conducting what he described as “the evacuation of civilian populations while fulfilling our commitment to their humanitarian needs”.

This statement has been contradicted by international organisations that have documented instances of forced displacement of Palestinians.

“The humanitarian disaster they spoke about did not take place, nor will it,” Netanyahu claimed.

The Israeli Premier claimed that “Israel is evacuating civilians from Rafah, and almost 500,000 have left so far”, despite conflicting accounts from Palestinian residents who say they are being forcibly displaced due to Israeli airstrikes.

WATCH: Israel leaves northern Gaza in ruins

“Any discussions of the ‘day after’ (of the war) are meaningless until Hamas is defeated,” Netanyahu said. “Until it becomes clear that Hamas doesn’t rule Gaza militarily, no actor will be ready to accept himself upon the civil rule of Gaza out of fear for his own safety.”

The Israeli army launched a ground offensive on 6 May in Rafah, home to around 1.5 million displaced Palestinians, with the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, (UNRWA), estimating that around half a million people have fled the city since the start of the Israeli attack.

The Rafah Crossing, a vital route for humanitarian aid into the besieged Gaza Strip, has been closed since the start of the Israeli onslaught on the city.

Israel has waged a brutal offensive on the Gaza Strip in retaliation for a 7 October, 2023, Hamas attack, which killed 1,200 people.

However, since then, it has been revealed by Haaretz that helicopters and tanks of the Israeli army had, in fact, killed many of the 1,139 soldiers and civilians claimed by Israel to have been killed by the Palestinian Resistance.

More than 35,230 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, mostly women and children, and over 79,140 others injured, according to Palestinian health authorities.

In the West Bank, nearly 500 Palestinians have been killed and thousands injured since 7 October, along with daily arrest campaigns by the Israeli army.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which, in January, issued an interim ruling that ordered it to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

READ: UNRWA: 450,000 Palestinians forcibly displaced from Rafah