Home » today » News » World Leaders Warn Israel of Potential Catastrophic Consequences in Gaza Ground Offensive

World Leaders Warn Israel of Potential Catastrophic Consequences in Gaza Ground Offensive

The leaders of Australia, Canada and New Zealand on Thursday warned Israel of the potentially “catastrophic” consequences of launching a ground military operation in the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

While the three Commonwealth countries, in a rare joint statement of its kind, urged Benjamin Netanyahu’s government “not to take this path,” leaders of countries allied with Washington expressed deep concern about the months-long war in Gaza.

The statement said, “A military operation in Rafah would be disastrous. About 1.5 million Palestinians have taken refuge in this area, and civilians simply have nowhere else to go.”

In the face of mounting international pressure and a death toll that Gaza authorities say has now exceeded 28,000 people, the Israeli Prime Minister pledged to press ahead with the war.

Netanyahu said in a message in Hebrew on his official account on the Telegram application, “We will fight until complete victory, which includes a strong movement in Rafah, after allowing the civilian population to leave the combat areas.”

Israel believes that Hamas militants responsible for the October 7 attacks, which resulted in the killing of more than 1,160 people, most of them civilians, according to a tally prepared by Agence France-Presse based on official Israeli figures, are holed up in Rafah with a number of hostages it took. Movement during its attack and their number is estimated at 130.

The three countries called for an immediate ceasefire on humanitarian grounds in Gaza, and the statement issued by the prime ministers of the three countries said, “We are deeply concerned about indications that Israel is planning a ground attack on Rafah. Any military operation in Rafah would be disastrous. There is an urgent need to stop.” Immediate firing for humanitarian reasons.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that Israel will move forward with its attack on the Hamas movement in Rafah, the last refuge for displaced Palestinians in the southern Gaza Strip, after allowing civilians to evacuate the area.

The statement urged Israel not to attack, but said any ceasefire could not be “unilateral” and would require Hamas to immediately disarm and release all remaining hostages.

The leaders also said that the January ruling by the International Court of Justice in the genocide case brought by South Africa obligates Israel to protect civilians and provide essential services and urgent humanitarian aid.

The statement added, “Protecting civilians is extremely important and a necessity under international humanitarian law. Palestinian civilians cannot be forced to pay the price for the defeat of Hamas.”

Bloody escalation

South Lebanon and northern Israel witnessed a bloody escalation yesterday, Wednesday, which resulted in the killing of at least nine people as a result of air strikes launched by Tel Aviv on southern Lebanon, after a female soldier was killed in northern Israel as a result of a missile fired from the other side of the border, amid international calls to avoid widening tensions.

The Israeli army announced that a female soldier was killed as a result of a military base being hit by a missile fired from Lebanon. He responded with raids that killed eight people, including seven civilians.

These strikes constituted an escalation in the level of tension across the border, which has witnessed, for more than four months, a daily exchange of bombing between Hezbollah and Israel against the backdrop of the war in the Gaza Strip between Tel Aviv and the Hamas movement.

The army said in a statement that Sergeant Omer Sarah Benjo (20 years old) was killed “as a result of a (missile) being fired from Lebanese territory at a base in northern Israel.”

Although the bombing occurred on Wednesday morning, no party had claimed responsibility for it until the night of the same day.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Israeli army announced that it had launched “a large wave of raids inside Lebanon,” noting that its fighters had targeted a series of “Hezbollah terrorist targets” in several towns in southern Lebanon.

Huge destruction

The official National News Agency in Lebanon reported that three people from the same family – a Syrian woman and two children aged 2 and 13 – were killed as a result of a raid that targeted a house in the town of Al-Sowaneh, which led to its complete destruction.

The National Agency indicated that the Adshit raid hit a building of several floors, resulting in the death of a Hezbollah fighter and the injury of ten people, stressing that the bombing “caused great destruction in commercial establishments, shops, homes, and cars.”

Hezbollah mourned one of its members as a result of a raid in the town of Adshit, and then mourned another fighter in a separate raid.

On Wednesday night, four civilians were killed as a result of a raid in the city of Nabatieh.

A security source told Agence France-Presse that “four civilians from one family, including two women, were killed as a result of the Israeli raid” on a residential apartment in a building in the city of Nabatieh, in a new toll.

According to the security source, “the residents of the targeted apartment have no connection to Hezbollah.”

The National Agency indicated that the raid was carried out by a drone.

The strikes on Wednesday affected several towns, including Al-Sawwanah, Adshit, Saliya, and Al-Shehabiya, some of which are up to 25 kilometers away from the border.

Earlier Wednesday, Hezbollah Executive Council Chairman Hashem Safi al-Din vowed that the attack on southern Lebanon, which killed a number of civilians and children, could not go unanswered.

The strikes came hours after a Lebanese bombardment that injured seven people in northern Israel, according to the Magen David Adom ambulance service.

A French press photographer saw paramedics and Israeli soldiers evacuating a wounded man by military helicopter from a hospital in Safed.

Very offensive

Israeli Army Chief of Staff Herzi Halevy said after meeting with military leaders near the Lebanese border, “Israel’s next campaign will be very offensive and we will use all the tools and capabilities we have.”

“We are intensifying strikes all the time, and Hezbollah is paying an increasingly heavy price,” Halevy added in a statement.

Since the day after the attack launched by Hamas on Israel on October 7, the Lebanese-Israeli border has witnessed a daily exchange of bombing.

Hezbollah announces that it is targeting Israeli military sites and points in support of Gaza and “in support of its resistance.” The Israeli army responds with air and artillery bombardment, which it says targets the party’s “infrastructure” and the movements of fighters near the border.

The party’s Secretary-General, Hassan Nasrallah, said in a speech on Tuesday, “When the aggression against Gaza stops and the shooting in Gaza stops, the shooting will stop in the south.”

Nasrallah added, “Intimidate, threaten, and do whatever you want. Even waging war (against Lebanon) will not stop this front.”

252 dead

Since the start of the escalation, 252 people have been killed, including 177 Hezbollah members and 37 civilians, including three journalists, according to a tally compiled by the French press. In Israel, the army counted the deaths of ten soldiers and six civilians.

read more

This section contains related articles, placed in the (Related Nodes field)

The tension was accompanied on Wednesday by calls to avoid a widening of the confrontation.

US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters, “We still believe that there is a diplomatic path forward, and we will continue to push forward to try to resolve this issue diplomatically.”

He added, “We are still concerned about the escalation in Lebanon. One of our primary goals since the beginning of this conflict is not to see it expand.”

“Dangerous escalation”

The United Nations stressed the need to stop the “dangerous escalation” of violence.

“The recent escalation is indeed dangerous and must stop,” said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for its Secretary-General.

He pointed out that the United Nations Interim Force in South Lebanon (UNIFIL) observed “a shift in the exchange of fire between Israeli forces and armed groups in Lebanon,” which included “targeting areas far from the Blue Line” that separates Israel and Lebanon.

“point of no return”

In turn, French Foreign Minister Stephane Ségornet considered the situation “dangerous, but it has not reached the point of no return.”

Ségournet said before the National Assembly, “France is involved in resolving the conflict, especially to avoid escalation and a new war in Lebanon.”

According to diplomatic sources, the minister presented, during a recent visit to Israel and Lebanon, a plan for calm based on the cessation of hostilities on both sides of the border, the withdrawal of Hezbollah fighters to a distance ranging between ten to 12 kilometers from the border, and the full implementation of Resolution 1701, which was issued by the UN Security Council in 2006 to put… An end to a war between the two sides that lasted about a month.

Unannounced visit

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported on Wednesday that its director, Christopher Wray, made an unannounced visit to Israel to meet with officials in the Israeli intelligence services amid the war against Hamas.

Ray also met with agents from his agency stationed in Tel Aviv, according to a statement issued by the US agency, where he stressed the importance of their work related to the Palestinian “Hamas” movement and “Hezbollah” claimed by Iran in Lebanon.

He reiterated the FBI’s support for Israel in the wake of the October 7 attacks carried out by Hamas.

“The FBI’s partnership with our Israeli counterparts is long-standing, close, and strong, and I am confident that the closeness between our agencies has contributed to our ability to move so quickly in response to these attacks,” the statement quoted Wray as saying.

The FBI statement noted that Wray’s “focus” was on his agency’s efforts against foreign organizations that praise attacks on Israel and threaten to attack the United States, both abroad and at home.

He stressed that the FBI “has been and will continue to respond to requests” from Israel for support.

Israeli condemnation

On the other hand, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday that the latest request submitted by South Africa to the International Court against a possible Israeli attack on the southern Gaza Strip serves the Hamas movement and represents an attempt to prevent Israel from defending itself.

On Tuesday, South Africa asked the International Court of Justice to consider whether Israel’s plan to expand its offensive in Gaza to the city of Rafah requires additional emergency measures to protect the rights of Palestinians.

Israel said it plans to expand its ground offensive to Rafah, where more than a million Palestinians are seeking refuge to escape the attack that has destroyed most of the Gaza Strip since Hamas militants attacked Israel on October 7.

“South Africa continues to represent the interests of the Hamas terrorist organization and is trying to deprive Israel of the basic right to defend itself and its citizens,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Hayat said.

Last month, the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to take all measures to prevent its forces from committing genocide against the Palestinians in Gaza in a case brought by South Africa.

Hayat said in statements on the “X” platform, “Israel is committed to international law, including facilitating the transfer of humanitarian aid and preventing harm to innocent people, while Hamas terrorists infiltrate the civilian population in the Gaza Strip and hold 134 hostages.”

Israel denied all allegations of genocide related to its war against the armed movement and asked the court to dismiss the case completely, saying it was baseless.

The court has not yet decided on the substance of the case brought by South Africa regarding whether genocide occurred in Gaza, but it recognized the right of Palestinians in Gaza to be protected from acts of genocide.

American denunciation

The United States on Wednesday condemned Israel’s demolition of the home of a Palestinian activist in East Jerusalem, in an unusual public criticism from Washington of its close ally.

The American condemnation came hours after Fakhri Abu Diab, an activist against demolitions, said that the Israeli authorities demolished his house built 38 years ago near the Old City.

“Ten of us used to live here, my wife, three children, and five extended family members,” Abu Diab told Agence France-Presse in Jerusalem. “And now we are literally in the street, asking neighbors and passers-by to help us.” “We have become homeless,” he added.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said the United States condemns the demolition and will urge Israel not to target other homes.

“He is a prominent community leader, including against demolition, and now his family has been displaced,” Miller said of Abu Diab.

He added, “These actions impede efforts to achieve lasting peace and security that benefit not only Palestinians, but also Israelis.”

“It harms Israel’s standing in the world, and ultimately makes it difficult for us to accomplish all the things that we are trying to accomplish that will ultimately be in the interest of the Israeli people,” Miller continued.

The US State Department spokesman indicated that part of the building dates back to before 1967, when Israel occupied East Jerusalem. Israel later annexed East Jerusalem, a move not recognized by most of the international community.

Retaliatory action

Abu Diab responded to the American condemnation, saying, “I thank them, but they should have put pressure on the Israelis in advance to prevent the demolition of my house.”

He added, “It was an act of revenge, and it is part of the campaign launched by the Israelis against the Palestinians in Jerusalem, which has increased since October 7,” the date of the outbreak of the war between the Hebrew state and the Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip.

The United States is the most prominent political and military supporter of Israel in this war, but in recent weeks it has expressed its concern about the rising human toll in the besieged Palestinian Strip, in addition to the increasing acts of violence committed by settlers in the West Bank.

2024-02-15 01:33:18
#Bloody #escalation #border #Lebanon #Israel #international #calls #calm #Independent #Arabia

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.