Bahrain, Saudi Arabia warn of 'catastrophe' if Israel moves on Rafah
AFP | Beijing, China
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
A "humanitarian catastrophe" will unfold in Rafah, if Israel dares to attack the overcrowded area, warned Bahrain and Saudi Arabia yesterday as the kingdoms urged the United Nations Security Council to intervene.
More than one million displaced Palestinians have taken refuge in the city in Gaza's far south, many sheltering in tents pushed up against the border with Egypt and the Red sea.
Foreign Ministry statements of Bahrain and Saudi "warned of the extremely dangerous repercussions of storming and targeting" Rafah and affirmed its "categorical rejection and strong condemnation of their forced deportation”.
"This continued violation of international law and international humanitarian law confirms the necessity of convening the Security Council urgently to prevent Israel from causing an imminent humanitarian catastrophe," the statement added.
Bahrain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterated unwavering stance supporting the ceasefire and denouncing the forced displacement of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip.
Bahrain stressed the importance of protecting civilians and advocating for their safe return.
The statements came in response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s order on Friday for army to prepare to evacuate civilians from Rafah ahead of a planned ground operation against Hamas in the city.
The conflict triggered by Hamas attack on southern Israel was responded by Israel with a massive military offensive in Gaza that t h e Hamas-run territory's health ministry says has killed at least 27,947 people, mostly women and children. Riyadh has repeatedly called for a ceasefire while criticising Israeli "aggression" in Gaza.
While US President Joe Biden's administration has voiced optimism that Saudi-Israeli normalisation can be revived, Saudi Arabia said this week it had told Washington it would not establish ties with Israel until an independent Palestinian state is "recognised" and Israeli forces leave Gaza.
Gaza's Hamas rulers warned yesterday that Israeli operations in Rafah could cause "tens of thousands" of casualties in the city.
The office of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said the move "threatens security and peace in the region in the world" and is "a blatant violation of all red lines".