Rafah: Egypt, Jordan warn against humanitarian catastrophe

Egypt and Jordan said Israeli operation impedes the only safe exit of the wounded and sick Palestinians and hinders the delivery of humanitarian and relief aid…reports Asian Lite News

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Jordan’s Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh have warned against the humanitarian catastrophe of the ongoing Israeli military operation in the Palestinian city of Rafah, according to the Egyptian Presidency office’s statement.

The two leaders made the remarks during a meeting in Cairo, where they reiterated the two countries’ “full rejection” of the Israeli invasion of Rafah, the southernmost city of the besieged enclave, said the statement on Thursday as quoted by Xinhua news agency report.

“The Israeli operation impedes the only safe exit of the wounded and sick Palestinians and hinders the delivery of humanitarian and relief aid,” they emphasised.

The ongoing conditions require the international community to take its responsibilities for reaching an immediate and sustainable ceasefire and to push forward for the recognition of an independent Palestinian state which will help in achieving regional security and stability, the statement added.

The Israeli army launched a military operation in Rafah on Monday night, where more than one million internally displaced Palestinians have sought refuge since Israel’s offensive began on October 7 last year.

Cairo talks failed

The delegations of Hamas, Israel, Qatar and the US left Egypt after talks for reaching a truce in the Gaza Strip hit an impasse, the media reported.

“The delegations participating in the Cairo talks left for consultations, while some points of disagreement remained unresolved,” Egypt’s state-affiliated Al-Qahera News TV channel report quoted an unnamed senior official as saying on Thursday.

The delegations arrived in Cairo on Tuesday to achieve a comprehensive truce in the conflict-stricken Gaza. Yet, no agreement has been reached despite some progress in the negotiations, Xinhua news agency reported.

Among the major disputes between the conflicting parties are the number and lists of Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners to be released under a swap deal, as well as issues regarding Israel’s partial withdrawal from Gaza to allow free movement of Palestinians in the enclave.

The talks stalled when the Israeli military launched an operation in Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah crowded with more than one million internally displaced Palestinians and took control of the Palestinian side of the key Rafah crossing.

Israel to continue Rafah op

The Israeli army will continue its operation in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah “as planned,” after the talks on the Israel-Hamas truce held in Egypt’s Cairo collapsed, an Israeli official told the media.

Meanwhile, a Xinhua news agency covering the developments reported mass Israeli troops stationed on the border with Rafah.

The unnamed Israeli official confirmed on Thursday that the Israeli delegation has left Cairo after talks with Hamas, the US, Egyptian, and Qatari negotiators on a deal to end the hostilities and secure the release of hostages in Gaza, Xinhua news agency reported.

The official did not elaborate on whether Israel will expand the offensive to more areas in Rafah at the southern end of Gaza, where about 1.2 million internally displaced Palestinians were taking refuge.

According to Israel’s state-owned Kan TV news, the talks were halted due to Israel’s ongoing ground assault on Rafah.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s war cabinet was scheduled to meet later on Thursday to discuss the continuation of the Rafah operation.

Commenting on US President Joe Biden’s decision to pause some shipments of weapons to Israel if it deepens its assault on Rafah city, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it has enough weapons to continue operations in Gaza.

“The IDF has armaments for the operations it is planning, also for the operation in Rafah,” IDF Spokesman Daniel Hagari said in a statement.

“We have what we need,” he stressed.

“The US has so far provided security assistance to Israel and the IDF in an unprecedented manner,” Hagari added, noting that “even when there are disagreements between us — we resolve them in closed rooms”.

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