International Leaders Denounce Israel’s Intentions To Overrun Rafah

( – When Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, it shocked the world. The Jewish state quickly retaliated, triggering an all-out war, displacing approximately 2 million Palestinians and killing tens of thousands. The strikes have been relentless, and civilian structures have been targeted as the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) claim Hamas is using them as shields. The target changed recently with the Jewish state setting its sights on Rafah, a move many world leaders are condemning.

Rafah Strikes

Israel began its bombardment of Rafah in the early morning hours of Monday, February 11. The military said its “wave of attacks” was a means of providing cover for soldiers who were attempting to rescue two hostages. Those strikes reportedly killed at least 67 people, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, with the death toll expected to rise in the coming days. The raid did result in the successful recovery of 70-year-old Louis Har and 60-year-old Fernando Simon Marman.

More than a million Palestinians are sheltering in the southern Gaza city, many of whom went there after Israeli forces told them to evacuate their hometowns. Some spoke with The New York Times, calling the situation “indescribable” as “bombing was everywhere,” leaving Palestinians in the area “convinced that the Israeli army was invading Rafah.” One man staying in the Shaboura neighborhood, Akram al-Satri, said, “It was a night full of horror, strikes, death, and destruction.”

World Leaders Respond

Several leaders have spoken out against Israel’s raid on Rafah, and the United States has raised its own concerns. On Saturday, February 9, prior to the raid, Saudi Arabia called for an emergency meeting. It was later joined by Oman, Qatar, and United Nations agencies, who all fear that the move will result in a larger escalation. In fact, Egypt is already threatening to go back on its peace treaty, showing that the war will likely have lasting effects when it’s over.

Oman warned of “grave repercussions,” and Qatar’s Foreign Ministry said it categorically rejects Israel’s “attemps to forcibly displace the Palestinian people from the Gaza Strip.”

UN Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, has been staunchly in Israel’s corner since the onset, but even she condemned the latest plans to raid Rafah. She said that “military operations now in that area cannot proceed,” and if they were to do so, it “would dramatically exacerbate the humanitarian emergency,” that all nations are working to resolve.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has resolved to eradicate Hamas, vowing not to end the war until he does.

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