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The European Union must ask Israel to refrain from attacking Rafah

The European Union must ask Israel to refrain from attacking Rafah

European Union leaders are preparing to demand that Israel not launch a ground military incursion into the city of Rafah, located in the far south of the Gaza Strip and currently inhabited by about 1.5 million people.

This municipality is the last one before the border with Egypt, and it has become a refuge for hundreds of thousands of displaced people from other areas in the Strip, who will have nowhere else to flee to in the event of a large-scale Israeli operation.

The draft final statement issued by the Palestinian leaders' meeting stated, “The European Council urges the Israeli government to refrain from carrying out a ground operation in Rafah, where more than a million Palestinians are searching for safety from the fighting and access to humanitarian aid.” Mandates scheduled for March 21 and 22.

In the text, EU countries also call for “an immediate humanitarian truce leading to a sustainable ceasefire” and express “deep concern about the catastrophic situation in Gaza, with disproportionate impacts on children.”

The project is expected to be discussed at a meeting of permanent representatives of member states in Brussels on Wednesday (13), before being transferred to the leaders.

The imminent Israeli incursion into Rafah has raised concern in the international community, and Politico reported that US President Joe Biden is considering limiting military aid to the Jewish state in the event of an attack.

Meanwhile, a ship operated by the NGO Open Arms left Cyprus on Tuesday (12) carrying 200 tons of humanitarian aid for Gaza, using a sea corridor opened by the European Union.

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“We have activated the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to strengthen our support,” said EU Executive Head Ursula von der Leyen. “I encourage all Member States to contribute to enabling a stable and meaningful supply of aid to Gaza.”