Antonio Guterres calls for dousing tensions in Rafah

Antonio Guterres

Geneva:  As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stands firm on his determination to send troops into Rafah, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for international pressure to prevent an attack on the area where more than 1.2 million Palestinians have taken refuge.

“I appeal to all those who have influence in Israel to do everything in their power to prevent this,” Guterres said.

“A military attack on Rafah is intolerable, which will kill thousands of civilians and force hundreds of thousands to flee,” he told a news conference. The area is home to more than 1.2 million people now seeking refuge in Rafah governorate, most of them fleeing Israeli bombing. More than 34,000 people have reportedly been killed.”

Meanwhile, Netanyahu said: “We will enter Rafah and we will eliminate the Hamas battalions, with or without an agreement, in order to achieve a complete victory.”

The statement comes ahead of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to Israel, where he is expected to raise his opposition to President Joe Biden over the attack on Rafah.

Antonio Guterres warned that the incursion into Rafah would have “serious ramifications for the occupied West Bank and the wider region.”

The US and its allies are trying to get Israel and Hamas to reach a deal that could lead to a ceasefire and the release of some of the hostages kidnapped by the terrorist group in an attack on Israel in October.


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