Saudi Arabia calls for 'urgent' UN Security Council meeting to prevent Israeli invasion toward Rafah
Saudi Arabia warned on Saturday of the repercussions of a possible Israeli incursion into the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, the last refuge for displaced Palestinians, according to Saudi Press Agency.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has warned of the extremely dangerous repercussions of storming and targeting the city of Rafah in the Gaza Strip, which is the last refuge for hundreds of thousands of civilians forced to flee by the brutal Israeli aggression,” the agency reported.
It added that Saudi Arabia affirmed “its categorical rejection and strong condemnation of their forced deportation.”
The kingdom renewed “its demand for the necessity of an immediate cease-fire,” noting that “this continued violation of international law confirms the necessity for the UN Security Council to urgently convene to prevent Israel from causing an imminent humanitarian catastrophe for which everyone who supports the aggression bears responsibility.”
The Israeli army is preparing a ground military operation in heavily-populated Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, amid plans to evacuate residents before the launch, Israeli media reports said Friday.
Rafah is the last refuge for the displaced in the Gaza Strip. It is now home to more than 1,400,000 Palestinians, including 1,300,000 displaced people from other governorates, according to the Gaza Government Media Office.
Since the start of the Israeli onslaught against Gaza on Oct. 7, Israel ordered residents in northern and central Gaza to evacuate toward the southern part of the enclave, leading to the current overcrowded conditions in the south, especially in Rafah.
Israel continues its onslaught on Gaza where at least 27,947 Palestinians have been killed, mostly women and children, and 67,459 injured since Oct. 7, according to Palestinian health authorities.
Israel has pounded Gaza since a cross-border attack by Hamas, which Tel Aviv said killed nearly 1,200 people.
The Israeli offensive has left 85% of Gaza’s population internally displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure was damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.