3 Lakh Flee Rafah as Israel Continues Offensive 

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3 Lakh Flee Rafah as Israel Continues Offensive 

| Updated: May 13, 2024 09:54

Egypt express strong opposition, US pauses supply of bombs to Israel

Israeli forces pushed deeper into Gaza’s southern city of Rafah on Sunday in parts of the north where militants have regrouped. Around 300,000 people have fled the city following evacuation orders from Israel, which says it must invade to dismantle Hamas.

Rafah is considered the last refuge in Gaza for over a million civilians as well as Hamas’ last stronghold. Neighbouring Egypt issued its strongest objection yet to the Rafah offensive. It said it intends to formally join South Africa’s case at the International Court of Justice alleging Israel is committing genocide in Gaza. 

Protecting civilians 

Meanwhile, the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, has defended a decision to pause delivery to Israel of 3,500 bombs over concerns they could be used in Rafah, saying Israel lacked a “credible plan” to protect the civilians sheltering there.

Rafah has been sheltering an estimated 1.4 million Palestinians, most of them displaced from elsewhere by Israeli bombardments, amid dire shortages of food and water.

Blinken reiterated opposition to a major military assault on Rafah, and said that Israel would “be left holding the bag on an enduring insurgency” without an exit from Gaza and post-war governance plan. 

Gaza has been left without a functioning government, leading to a breakdown in public order and allowing Hamas’ armed wing to reconstitute itself.

Biden has made clear to Israel that if it “launches this major military operation to Rafah, then there are certain systems that we’re not going to be supporting and supplying for that operation,” Blinken said.

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