Biden urges Israel to protect civilians in Rafah amidst escalating tensions

Amid escalating tensions in the Israel-Gaza conflict, US President Biden urges Israel to ensure the safety of over one million Palestinians sheltering in Rafah amidst fears of an impending offensive.

Amidst escalating tensions in the Israel-Gaza conflict, U.S. President Joe Biden has issued a stern warning against an Israeli offensive in Rafah, urging for the safety of over one million Palestinians seeking refuge in the area. Biden emphasized the vulnerability of the displaced population in the southern Gazan city, stressing the urgent need for their protection. The dire situation was underscored by a Palestinian doctor in Rafah, who highlighted the prevailing atmosphere of fear among the populace.

UN human rights chief Volker Türk echoed Biden’s concerns, expressing alarm at the potential devastation of an assault on Rafah, which could result in significant civilian casualties. The looming threat of an Israeli ground operation in Rafah was intensified by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s declaration of intent to root out Hamas militants entrenched in the city.


The recent spate of Israeli airstrikes on Rafah has already inflicted casualties, further exacerbating the humanitarian crisis in the densely populated enclave. With more than half of Gaza’s 2.3 million inhabitants seeking refuge in Rafah, the city is grappling with overcrowded conditions, inadequate shelter, and limited access to essential resources such as clean water and food.

In response to mounting international pressure, President Biden reiterated his stance on safeguarding the civilian population in Rafah during discussions with Jordan’s King Abdullah. He condemned any forced displacement of Palestinians and emphasized the need for humanitarian assistance to reach those in need.

The White House reiterated its stance against major Israeli operations in Rafah without due consideration for the welfare of the refugees. Concerns were echoed by global leaders, with UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron urging Israel to exercise restraint and EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell calling for a halt to arms supplies to the region.

Warnings from Saudi Arabia of “very serious repercussions” underscored the gravity of the situation, with Hamas cautioning against the potential for widespread casualties and the disruption of negotiations for the release of Israeli hostages.

Rafah, located on the border with Egypt, serves as the sole entry point for humanitarian aid into Gaza, further underscoring the urgency of protecting its civilian population. Israel’s military operations in response to Hamas-led attacks have resulted in significant loss of life, with the conflict showing no signs of abating.

As casualties continue to mount on both sides, the need for a swift resolution to the crisis has never been more pressing. Efforts to de-escalate the situation and address the underlying grievances fuelling the conflict remain paramount in securing a lasting peace in the region.