News   /   Palestine

Rafah offensive to push Gaza ‘deeper into the abyss’, UN warns

A Gazan surveys the destruction after Israeli airstrikes in the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza on November 1, 2023. (File photo by AP)

The office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has warned against an Israeli offensive in Gaza's border city of Rafah, saying the “catastrophic” situation in the besieged strip may “slide deeper into the abyss.”

“We fear that this already catastrophic situation may slide deeper into the abyss as many Palestinians mark the holy month of Ramadan… should Israel launch its threatened military offensive into Rafah, where 1.5 million people have been displaced in deplorable sub-human conditions,” Jeremy Laurence, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said on Friday.

“Any ground assault on Rafah would incur massive loss of life and would heighten the risk of further atrocity crimes,” he said, stressing, “This must not be allowed to happen.”

As Israel’s war on Gaza has entered its sixth month, the spokesperson said the UN Human Rights chief repeats his calls for an immediate ceasefire.

“The killing and destruction must stop.”

The UN human rights office also urged Israel, as the occupying power, to “fully comply with its obligations under international humanitarian law”, saying the regime must provide civilians in Gaza with the necessary food and medical supplies, or “ensure that the population has access to critical life-saving humanitarian assistance.”

The spokesperson stressed that those who violate international law that protects human rights and governs the conduct of hostilities “must be held to account.”

In an apparent reference to Israel’s allies, especially the US, Laurence said all parties to the four Geneva Conventions, “must not, through their own policies or actions, facilitate the commission of violations of humanitarian law.”

Israel waged its genocidal war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian Hamas resistance group carried out Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the usurping entity in retaliation for its intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people. The Tel Aviv regime has also imposed a “complete siege” on the territory, cutting off fuel, electricity, food and water to the more than two million Palestinians living there.

Washington has since supplied the regime with more than 10,000 tons of military equipment.

The US has also repeatedly vetoed UN resolutions that call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, the UN Human Rights office expressed its concern over further Israeli restrictions on access by Palestinians to East al-Quds and al-Aqsa Mosque during the holy fasting month of Ramadan, which will begin next week, saying the measures “could further inflame tensions.”

The current fighting in the besieged Gaza Strip was in part caused by Israel’s support for settlers frequenting the mosque provocatively.

Since the start of the offensive, the Tel Aviv regime has killed 30,878 Palestinians and injured 72,402 others.

Thousands more are also missing and presumed dead under the rubble in Gaza.              


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku