Saudi Arabia Warns Of A "Humanitarian Catastrophe" If Israel Moves On Rafah
Saudi Arabia has warned that an Israeli military operation planned in high-density Rafah could lead to a major humanitarian crisis and has urged the UN Security Council to act.
The Saudi foreign ministry strongly condemns the potential forced removal of residents and emphasizes the urgent need for UN intervention to prevent Israel from infringing on international laws, which might result in humanitarian disaster.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has directed the military to relocate Rafah civilians due to an imminent offensive against Hamas. Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, is home to over one million displaced Palestinians living in cramped conditions.
In light of the conflict that erupted in October after a deadly Hamas attack, Saudi Arabia, which previously considered recognizing Israel, has maintained its stance against doing so until an independent Palestinian state is acknowledged and Israeli troops withdraw from Gaza.
The Israeli assault on Gaza has led to the deaths of nearly 28,000 people, mostly women and children, per the local health ministry.
Saudi Arabia consistently advocates for a ceasefire and criticizes Israeli actions in Gaza. Despite the US expressing optimism for improved Saudi-Israeli relations, Saudi Arabia insists on recognizing a Palestinian state first.
Meanwhile, Hamas leadership in Gaza cautions that Israeli military activities in Rafah could result in numerous casualties, with Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas's office deeming the action a severe threat to regional and global security and peace.