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Israeli PM denies humanitarian crisis in Rafah as 500,000 evacuate

Photo : Reuters

In the midst of escalating tensions, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu refuted claims of a humanitarian crisis in Rafah, despite reports of nearly 500,000 evacuations due to intense fighting. This unfolded as Palestinians commemorated the 76th anniversary of the "Nakba", recalling the displacement of 760,000 individuals during Israel's formation in 1948.

Israeli forces engaged in fierce battles and bombings around Gaza's southern city of Rafah, with clashes spreading to other areas previously occupied by Israeli troops. Concerns mounted over the possibility of Israel becoming embroiled in a prolonged counterinsurgency campaign.

Despite US warnings and international pressure, the US government informed Congress of a new $1 billion weapons package for Israel. This move drew criticism, particularly as calls for an immediate end to the military operation in Rafah intensified from the European Union.

Prime Minister Netanyahu, while acknowledging the significant evacuation efforts, maintained that there was no humanitarian catastrophe in Rafah. However, scenes of displaced families and the destruction wrought by the conflict drew comparisons to the historic "Nakba", signifying a deeply troubling turn of events.

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Hamas, in a statement marking Nakba Day, underscored the ongoing plight of Palestinian refugees and their right to return to their ancestral homes. The situation elicited emotional responses, with one displaced Gaza resident describing the current crisis as even more challenging than the events of 1948.

As protests erupted across Palestinian territories and international condemnation mounted, Netanyahu reiterated his commitment to dismantling Hamas and securing the release of hostages held in Gaza. Amidst political tensions, US President Biden's administration faced scrutiny for its support of Israel's military actions.

Efforts for peace and ceasefire negotiations faced significant hurdles, with diplomatic initiatives struggling to gain traction amidst the ongoing violence. Humanitarian aid delivery to Gaza was hampered, exacerbating the already dire situation faced by civilians.

Despite sporadic aid efforts and calls for a ceasefire, the conflict persisted, with no immediate resolution in sight. The situation remained fluid, with diplomatic channels strained and international pressure mounting for a swift and peaceful resolution to the crisis.

May 16, 2024 12:50 p.m. 4471

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