Problem Of Rafah Is 'Over A Million Civilians & 10,000 Hamas Operatives'; IDF Says

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Feb 14, 2024 - 01:40 AM

China has continued showing its disapproval of Israel's military operations in the Gaza Strip, which has also been consistent with Russian denunciations, and of course Iran's position too.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Tuesday issued a scathing condemnation of the Israeli assault on the southern Gaza city of Rafah, and urged Tel Aviv to immediately halt all operations. It comes a day after an elite Israeli counterterror team was able to free two Israeli hostages during high-risk operations there.

Satellite image from Maxar Technologies shows Rafah, Gaza

"China is closely watching the developments in Rafah," a foreign ministry spokesperson stated. "We oppose and condemn acts against civilians and international law. We call on Israel to stop military operations as soon as possible, do everything possible to avoid casualties among innocent civilians, and prevent a more devastating humanitarian disaster in Rafah."

Regional reports say that Monday alone saw over 40 airstrikes on Rafah, which reportedly killed more than a hundred people. There are common estimates that over one million refugees have surged into the city bordering Egypt during the last months of intense fighting elsewhere in the Strip.

A Hamas statement had described the "The Nazi occupation army’s attack on the city of Rafah tonight … which [has] claimed the lives of more than a hundred martyrs so far, is considered a continuation of the genocidal war and the attempts at forced displacement it is waging against our Palestinian people."

A bigger full ground invasion is still expected, with humanitarian groups also warning of a looming humanitarian catastrophe, already as the Palestinian death toll since Oct.7 is close to 30,000 - according to Gaza health ministry figures.

Israel, following recent days of pressure from Washington and other allies, has sought to assure that it will seek to evacuate those civilians willing to leave Rafah before the full assault begins. IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi in a Tuesday press briefing said, "We know that it is more difficult for us to fight in an environment where there are over a million people and another 10,000 Hamas operatives."

"In previous parts of the war, we sought to isolate the population. We have the capabilities to do it. We did it in Gaza City. We did it in Khan Younis. We did it in the central camps [of Gaza]," Halevi said.

Meanwhile an interesting new gaffe out of President Biden...

"I am saying here that the residents of Rafah will be allowed to evacuate the area. It is not right for the citizens, for the residents, for the families, to be in the area of ​​fighting. When will it happen? How will it happen? We will decide when the time comes," he added.

But some have accused Israeli officials of simply floating false hopes and rhetoric in order to calm Western allies, particularly the US. In Europe there's a move to prevent more arms from reaching Israel amid accusations of mass human rights violations, also as the Netherlands has been forced by a court to temporarily halt transfers of F-35 parts.