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Time running out to prevent Israeli atrocities in Gaza: Rights groups

A child is seen in a destroyed building in Rafah, the southern Gaza Strip.

A group of international aid organizations have warned that time is running out for action to protect civilians and prevent further atrocities in the city of Rafah and elsewhere across the Gaza Strip.

A joint statement signed by 13 human rights groups, including Save the Children and Oxfam International, said states must act urgently to prevent Israeli crimes in the besieged Palestinian territory.

It has been a “week since the UN Security Council passed a resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire, and days since the International Court of Justice issued additional provisional measures in South Africa’s genocide case against Israel,” the statement read.

Israel has made clear its intention to expand military operations in Rafah irrespective of the UN Security Council’s legally binding resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire.

“There is no feasible evacuation plan or conditions that would protect civilians if a ground incursion moves forward,” the groups said.

“There is nowhere safe for people to go in Gaza. Israeli forces have repeatedly attacked areas they previously prescribed as ‘safe’.”

Human rights organizations have repeatedly warned that the planned Israeli ground incursion into Rafah promises to decimate life and life-saving assistance for the civilians who are now in the direct line of fire.

Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip since early October has damaged or destroyed more than 60 percent of housing units and annihilated much of the infrastructure in northern and central Gaza.

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