Twenty NGOs ask world leaders to stop the Israeli invasion of Rafah

Palestinian evacuees in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip

Palestinian evacuees in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip – Europa Press/Contact/Rizek Abdeljawad

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May 15. (EUROPA PRESS) –

Twenty NGOs have urged the main world leaders this Wednesday to intervene to prevent the Israeli invasion of Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip, a region where more than 1.2 million displaced Palestinians take refuge. Among the signatories are Amnesty International, Oxfam and Action Against Hunger.

Other countries “have a responsibility to act urgently to end the serious violations of International Humanitarian Law taking place in Gaza and to demand accountability.” To this end, they ask third states to “stop the invasion of Rafá, open all land border crossings and lift internal barriers for humanitarian access.”

They mention in particular the United States, Israel’s “main arms supplier”, which they point to as having a “significant responsibility for the violations of International Humanitarian Law committed by Israel.” Although they recognize the pause ordered by Washington in the deliveries of heavy bombs, “it should use all its influence to stop the ongoing military operation in Rafah.”

NGOs warn that “more than 1.5 million people, including 600,000 children, are at serious risk” due to Israeli plans after the country’s ground forces entered the area on May 7 after issuing arrest warrants. “illegal” evacuation.

Thus, they emphasize that the concept of “safe humanitarian zones” used by Israel for evacuation orders “is not valid”, since “the areas previously designated as such have been the target of bombings and ground operations.”

They also warn that “further advance of the military invasion, which will lead to the total collapse of rescue services” and recall that the seizure of the Palestinian part of the Rafah crossing has interrupted the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza. In fact, it is “disrupting the humanitarian response” contrary to what is stated in resolutions 2720 and 2728 of the UN Security Council and the opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that order Israel to allow the provision of services basics and humanitarian assistance.

Warehouses containing vital aid in eastern Rafah remain inaccessible as a result of Israeli military operations while medical facilities in Rafah “are closing one after another.”

The president of Doctors of the World, Florence Rigal, recalled that they had to close the two clinics they had in Rafá, where they treated about 500 people a day. “We are now setting up a new medical camp to which people have fled, but it will take a few days. Meanwhile, people are left without access to healthcare,” she warned.

“We have been warning for months that Israel must be prevented from entering Rafah or Gaza will face an even greater humanitarian catastrophe. Inaction by third countries is perceived as a lack of concern about the consequences for the exhausted civilian population. It is unacceptable and they must immediate measures must be taken to avoid further suffering,” he stressed.

The NGOs also warn of the “depletion” of fuel, which poses “a serious risk of paralyzing humanitarian operations and basic services.” “The operation of the entire humanitarian response depends on fuel, including to meet the priority needs of more than 1.7 million displaced people,” he warned.

Finally, they have defended the need for a humanitarian ceasefire. “A lasting ceasefire is the only way to prevent further deaths, injuries and human suffering, as well as the escalation of the conflict in the region, and to ensure that the preventive measures requested by the ICJ are put in place to prevent the crime of genocide”, the NGOs have highlighted through the general director of Humanity&Inclusion/Handicap International (HI), Manuel Patrouillard.

The signatory organizations are ActionAid, Action Against Hunger, American Friends of Service Committee (AFSC), Amnesty International, AM Qattan Foundation, Anera, Churches for Peace in the Middle East (CMEP), DanChurch Aid (DCA), Humanity&Inclusion /Handicap International (HI), Swedish IM Development Society, INTERSOS, International Network of World Doctors, Mennonite Central Committee, Mercy Corps, Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), Norwegian People’s Aid, Oxfam, Plan International, Relief International and War Child Alliance.

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