Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

EU Urges Israel to 'Immediately' End Rafah Military Operation

Thu 16 May 2024 | 09:53 AM
Yara Sameh

The European Union on Wednesday urged Israel to end its military operation in Rafah immediately. 

The operation is further disrupting the distribution of humanitarian aid in Gaza and is leading to more internal displacement, exposure to famine, and human suffering.

More than a million civilians are sheltering in and around Rafah and have been told to evacuate to areas that, according to the United Nations, cannot be considered safe. 

While the EU recognises Israel’s right to defend itself, Israel must do so in line with International Humanitarian Law and provide safety to civilians.

The European Union called on Israel to refrain from further exacerbating the already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza and reopen the crossing point of Rafah. 

"Should Israel continue its military operation in Rafah, it would inevitably put a heavy strain on the EU's relationship with Israel," said the statement issued in the EU's name by its foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

Under International Humanitarian Law, Israel must allow and facilitate unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief for civilians. The International Court of Justice made this clear in its orders of 26 January and 28 March. 

In this regard, the European Union also condemned the attack by Hamas on the Kerem Shalom crossin, which has further obstructed the delivery of humanitarian relief.

It also called on all parties to redouble their efforts to achieve an immediate ceasefire and the unconditional release of all hostages held by Hamas.