IAccording to a media report, Israel has proposed accommodating the city's hundreds of thousands of residents in extensive tent camps ahead of its planned military offensive on Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip. As the Wall Street Journal newspaper reported on Monday (local time), citing Egyptian officials, Israel's proposal for an evacuation of the city, which is overcrowded with more than a million internally displaced people, calls for 15 camps, each with around 25,000 tents, to be set up in the southwestern part of the sealed-off area coastal area.
American President Joe Biden once again urgently called for the protection of the civilian population in Rafah. Meanwhile, one day after Israel's heavy air strikes in the area and the rescue of two hostages from the grip of the Islamist Hamas, negotiations for a new ceasefire and the release of further hostages are set to continue in Cairo on Tuesday, according to Israeli media.
Biden demands protection for the people in Rafah
A good four months after the start of the Gaza war, Israel sees Rafah as the last bastion of Hamas and is planning a military offensive there, which is triggering international criticism and great concern. Such an approach “should not take place without a credible plan to ensure the safety and support of more than a million people seeking protection there,” Biden said on Monday (local time) after a meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah II at the White House . Many people there have been displaced several times from other places, fleeing violence in the north of the coastal area.
Jordan's King: This war must stop
Now they are “crammed together, unprotected and defenseless” in Rafah, Biden said, demanding: “They must be protected.” The American government also made it clear from the start that it was against any forced expulsion of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip.
King Abdullah warned clearly against an offensive. “We cannot afford an Israeli attack on Rafah. It will certainly lead to another humanitarian disaster,” he said. The situation is already unbearable for the more than a million people seeking protection there. He called for an immediate, permanent ceasefire. “This war must stop.”
Germany had also once again urgently called on Israel to protect civilians in Rafah. A spokesman for the Foreign Office said on Monday in Berlin that what Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) had already explained at the weekend applies: Before there are further major offensives on Rafah against Hamas, Israel must clearly explain “where and how “These people can find protection – and effective protection.”
This Wednesday, Baerbock wanted to set off on her fifth trip to Israel since Hamas' terrorist attack on the country on October 7th, it was said.
UN spokesman: Do not participate in displacement
Israel's government has called on UN agencies working in the region to help evacuate civilians from Rafah. Everything that happens in the southern part of the region on the border with Egypt must take place with full respect for the protection of the civilian population, said UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric on Monday in New York. “We will not participate in the displacement of people.” He also questioned whether there were safe havens in other areas of Gaza, also in view of the many unexploded bombs.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Israel has presented its proposal to set up tent cities to Egypt in recent days. The country bordering Rafah would therefore be responsible for setting up the camps and field hospitals, it was said.
Türkiye accuses Israel of expulsion
Egypt fears that in the event of a military offensive on Rafah, it could lead to a rush of desperate Palestinians to the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula. Turkey has accused Israel of deliberately expelling Palestinians following its attacks in the Rafah area on Monday. “We view this operation as part of a plan to expel the people of Gaza from their own land,” the Foreign Ministry in Ankara said on Monday. They are “extremely concerned” about the increasing attacks in the Rafah region. This will exacerbate the humanitarian tragedy in Gaza and undermine efforts to achieve a lasting ceasefire in the region, it said.
What will be important on Tuesday
Egypt, Qatar and the United States are currently making renewed efforts to bring about a longer ceasefire in the Gaza war. As part of an agreement, the hostages still held in the Gaza Strip will be exchanged for Palestinian prisoners in Israel in several phases. The negotiations are currently making slow progress, but according to Israeli media reports they will now be continued in Cairo. Union faction leader Friedrich Merz (CDU) continues his visit to Israel.