Palestinian President Abbas Urges US to Stop Potential Israeli Invasion of Rafah, Gaza

Palestinian leader appeals to US to prevent imminent Israeli invasion of Gaza's Rafah, warning of potential mass displacement and humanitarian crisis.

Trim Correspondents
Updated On
New Update
Palestinian President Abbas Urges US to Stop Potential Israeli Invasion of Rafah, Gaza

Palestinian President Abbas Urges US to Stop Potential Israeli Invasion of Rafah, Gaza

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas made an urgent appeal to the United States at a global economic summit in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, calling on the US to prevent a potential Israeli invasion of Rafah in the Gaza Strip. Abbas warned that such an assault could force much of the Palestinian population to flee the enclave, potentially leading to "the biggest calamity in the history of the Palestinian people."

The Palestinian leader stressed that the US, as Israel's main ally and weapons supplier, is the only country capable of stopping Israel from carrying out what he described as a "wrongdoing" against the Palestinian people. Abbas said he anticipates an Israeli attack on Rafah, which shelters over 1.5 million displaced Palestinians, to occur within days.

Why this matters: The impending Israeli invasion of Rafah threatens to further destabilize the already war-battered Gaza Strip and worsen the humanitarian crisis facing its residents. The potential displacement of a large portion of Gaza's population could have far-reaching consequences for the region and the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The appeal comes amidst increased diplomatic efforts to reach a long-sought ceasefire and hostage-release deal in Gaza, as Israel continues to carry out air strikes and shelling on the territory. Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza, said it is studying a new Israeli counterproposal for a truce and hostage release.

The current conflict began with an unprecedented attack by Hamas on October 7, 2023, which resulted in the deaths of approximately 1,170 people in Israel, mostly civilians. In response, Israel launched a retaliatory offensive against Hamas that has killed at least 34,454 people in Gaza, primarily women and children, according to the Gaza health ministry.

Despite international outcry, Israel has vowed to invade Rafah, where the military claims Hamas is holding hostages captured during the October 7 attacks. The US and other allies have opposed a full-scale military operation in the city, citing the risk of thousands of civilian casualties.

Abbas reiterated his rejection of any displacement of Palestinians into neighboring Jordan and Egypt. He also voiced concern that Israel may attempt to force the Palestinian population out of the West Bank and into Jordan following its operations in Gaza.

The Palestinian president's appeal at the Saudi-hosted summit, attended by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other international mediators, highlights the urgency of the situation in Gaza. Saudi officials called for regional stability, warning that the ongoing Israel-Hamas war is putting "a lot of pressure" on the global economic "mood".

As the war in Gaza continues to claim lives and displace thousands, the international community is closely watching the diplomatic efforts to secure a ceasefire and the release of hostages. The Gaza health ministry reported that Israeli strikes have killed at least 34,454 Palestinians and injured 77,575 since October 7, with an estimated 66 deaths and 138 injuries in the past 24 hours alone.

Key Takeaways

  • Abbas urges US to stop potential Israeli invasion of Rafah, Gaza, warning of mass displacement.
  • Israel plans invasion of Rafah, where it claims Hamas holds hostages from Oct 7 attack.
  • Ongoing Israel-Hamas war has killed 34,454 Palestinians and injured 77,575 since Oct 7.
  • Diplomatic efforts underway to reach ceasefire and hostage release deal in Gaza.
  • Saudi officials warn Israel-Hamas war is putting "a lot of pressure" on global economy.