Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

UNICEF Urges Restraint in Rafah Amid Growing Tensions

Fri 09 Feb 2024 | 01:56 PM
Israa Farhan

Catherine Russell, the Executive Director of UNICEF, urgently called on all parties to avoid escalation in Rafah, where over 600,000 displaced individuals currently reside.

This plea comes in the wake of statements by Israel's Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, indicating that Israeli military forces are poised to reach Rafah.

Gallant mentioned that the ground operation would continue in the coming months to create conditions conducive to the release of prisoners and that military forces aim to reach the city of Rafah in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

However, he refrained from disclosing the details or timing of the potential operation.

The call for restraint follows a sharp escalation in criticisms by US President Joe Biden towards Israel's approach to the war against Hamas, describing the military operations in Gaza as "excessive."

Despite initially supporting Israel's right to respond to the "Operation Al-Aqsa Flood" on October 7th, Biden has shown increasing impatience with the scale and duration of the Israeli response.

According to the New York Times, Biden expressed his view that the response in Gaza "exceeded bounds" and added that he has been hard, for the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

The New York Times interpreted Biden's comments as revealing his growing frustration with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's public acknowledgment of what had been clear in secret for weeks.

Biden has urged Netanyahu to exercise more caution to avoid civilian casualties in Gaza, where over 27,000 people have been reported killed, and to consider the establishment of a Palestinian state once the conflict ends.