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A UN relief official warns that Gazans may flee to Egypt

A UN relief official warns that Gazans may flee to Egypt

The United Nations Humanitarian Aid Coordinator warned on Thursday of the possibility of Palestinians gathered in Rafah fleeing to Egypt if Israel launches a military operation against the border city.

More than a million Palestinians live in the city of Rafah, located at the southern end of the Gaza Strip on the border with Egypt. Many of them live in camps and temporary shelters after fleeing Israeli bombing elsewhere in Gaza.

The Israeli military says it wants to expel Islamist militants from their hideouts in Rafah and release hostages held there following the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel, but has not provided details of a proposed plan to evacuate civilians.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is facing increasing international pressure to postpone the planned attack, gave no indication of the possible date of the attack.

Martin Griffiths told reporters, “The possibility of a military operation in Rafah, with the possibility of closing the (border) crossing, with the possibility of the matter extending… a kind of Egyptian nightmare… is right before our eyes.” At the United Nations in Geneva.

According to him, the idea that the residents of Gaza can be transferred to a safe place is an “illusion.”

“We should all hope that friends of Israel and those who care about Israel’s security will give them good advice at this time,” Griffiths said.

The United Nations said that the Israeli attack on Rafah could “lead to a massacre.”

Speaking at the same meeting with Griffiths, Mirjana Spoljaric, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, declared that the absence of a clear evacuation plan, including for the sick and elderly, would take suffering to a new level.

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“The suffering on both sides and the massacre that we have witnessed since October 7 will reach unimaginable levels if operations in Rafah are intensified in the manner that was announced,” Spoljaric said.

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