Ground invasion of Rafah would be catastrophic – Doctors Without Borders

File photo of Gaza.

WASHINGTON, March 19 (Bernama-Anadolu) — The secretary general of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) warned on Monday against Israeli plans to carry out a military operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, Anadolu Agency (AA) reported. 

“A ground invasion of Rafah would be catastrophic and must not be allowed to happen,” Christopher Lockyear said on X (formerly known as Twitter).

Lockyear’s remarks came after he passed through the Rafah crossing to visit the MSF teams in the Gaza Strip.

“The sea of humanity as you enter is overwhelming, people are everywhere,” he said.

Israel announced plans to conduct what it called a “major activity” in Rafah following the evacuation of Palestinians to the western area of the city. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved plans for the military operation on March 15.

Israel has waged a deadly military offensive on Gaza since a cross-border attack by the Palestinian group Hamas on Oct 7, 2023 which killed nearly 1,200 people.

More than 31,700 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have since been killed in the enclave and nearly 73,800 others injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

The Israeli war has pushed 85 percent of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid a crippling blockade of most food, clean water and medicine, while 60 percent of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.