Guterres: International opposition to Israel's ground invasion of Rafah is growing

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said today that Israel is losing support and that international opposition to Israel's ground invasion of the city of Rafah is becoming increasingly pronounced

by Sededin Dedovic
Guterres: International opposition to Israel's ground invasion of Rafah is growing
© Ali Moustafa / Getty Images

The Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, expressed today the growing international opposition to the Israeli ground invasion of the city of Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip. He pointed out that such a step could cause a "humanitarian disaster" that would further worsen the already difficult situation in the region.

During his visit to a Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan, Guterres reiterated his call for a ceasefire and the release of all hostages held by Hamas, stressing the importance of protecting civilians in all circumstances of the conflict regardless of which side is involved.

Efforts to stop the violence are receiving increasing support both from individual countries and from international organizations. The United States, European countries and numerous Muslim countries have also appealed to Israel to refrain from expanding its ground offensive on the town of Rafah, and instead to find a diplomatic solution to the current crisis.

However, the ultra-right Netanyahu government does not want to hear these proposals and persistently refuses to listen to the advice of some of its biggest allies. At the press conference, Guterres emphasized that "it is absolutely essential to preserve the lives of people in Gaza" and that the United Nations "insists on the need for a ceasefire to prevent further deterioration of the humanitarian situation".

As for the situation in the city of Rafah, about 1.4 million Palestinians, mostly those who fled the conflict from other parts of Gaza, have taken refuge in that city on the border with Egypt. However, Israel and Egypt refuse to accept refugees, leaving civilians in dire straits without the possibility of safe shelter.

Israeli authorities claim that Hamas has four battalions with thousands of fighters in Rafah and that it is necessary to eliminate the extremist organization in order to ensure long-term stability and security in the region.

However, numerous international news agencies were in Rafah and we were able to determine that Hamas does not have such stubbornness in Rafah. Despite the efforts of the international community to mediate and prevent further escalation of the conflict, the situation in Gaza remains extremely complex and tense.

Continued dialogue and cooperation of all relevant actors are key to achieving lasting peace and stability in the Middle East. With strong pressure from the USA, Netanyahu will have to stop the bloodshed at some point, but maybe it will be too late.