|[Published: Monday February 12 2024]
Israeli strikes on Gaza's Rafah as US warns of potential 'disaster'
RAFAH, GAZA STRIP, 12 Feb. - (ANA) - Israel conducted fresh strikes on southern Gaza's overcrowded border town of Rafah on Friday, where more than a million displaced Palestinians have sought shelter, with key backer the US warning of a looming "disaster".
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he has ordered troops to "prepare to operate" in Rafah, the last major town in the Gaza Strip that Israeli ground troops have yet to enter.
A State Department spokesman said Thursday that Washington did not support an Israeli operation in Rafah, with President Joe Biden later telling reporters he considered Israel's conduct of its war against Hamas to be "over the top".
Israel's Western allies are alarmed over plans to storm the Gaza Strip's last major city, while Egypt bolstered security across its border with the enclave.
UN does not want forced mass displacement in Gaza's Rafah
Civilians in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip need to be protected, but the United Nations does not want to see any forced mass displacement, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Friday as Israel planned to storm the last major city in the enclave.
Israel refused Hamas demands on Al-Aqsa, prisoners: media
Israel has informed negotiators seeking to reach a ceasefire deal in Gaza that it refused Hamas' demands regarding Al-Aqsa Mosque and Palestinian prisoners, Alaraby TV cited the Israeli news site Walla as saying.
Israeli plan for Rafah assault aims to drive out Gazans: PA
The office of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Friday that a plan announced by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a military escalation in Rafah at the southern edge of the Gaza Strip aims to drive Palestinians from their land.
The office of Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority that exerts partial self-rule in the Israeli occupied West Bank, said it holds both the Israeli government and the U.S. administration responsible for the plan's repercussions.
The Palestinian presidency called on the UN Security Council to take heed, "because (Israel) taking this step threatens security and peace in the region and the world. It crosses all red lines," the statement said.
Israel holding up food for 1.1 million Gazans: UNRWA
Israel has imposed financial restrictions on the main U.N. agency providing aid in the Gaza Strip, a measure which prevented a shipment of food for 1.1 million Palestinians from reaching the enclave , the agency's director said Friday.
UNRWA's director, Philippe Lazzarini, said Friday that that a convoy of food donated by Turkey has been sitting for weeks in the Israeli port city of Ashdod. The agency said that the Israeli contractor they work with received a call from Israeli customs authorities "ordering them not to process any UNRWA goods."
That stoppage means 1,049 shipping containers of rice, flour, chickpeas, sugar and cooking oil — enough to feed 1.1 million people for one month — are stuck, even as an estimated 25% of families in Gaza face catastrophic hunger. - (ANA) -
AB/ANA/12 February 2024 — - -