Sisi warns Israel against ground attack on Gaza’s Rafah

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi hosted Dutch caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte in Cairo on Wednesday.

The two leaders discussed the Israel-Gaza war.

At a joint news conference, el-Sissi warned Israel against launching a ground military offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

“Egypt also warns against the Israeli plan to launch a ground military operation in the Palestinian city of Rafah which threatens the lives of more than a million and a half-displaced people,” he said.

Rutte commended el-Sissi on Egypt’s “indispensable logistical, humanitarian and pivotal role in this crisis.”

More than half of Gaza’s 2.3 million people are packed into Rafah, which borders Egypt.

Many fled there after following Israeli evacuation orders that now cover two-thirds of the territory.

On Wednesday, Israel’s chief military spokesman said civilians in Rafah would be directed toward “humanitarian islands” that would provide temporary housing, food, water and other necessities.

He did not say when this would occur, nor when the Rafah offensive might begin.

Egypt has previously warned that any movement of Palestinians into Egypt would threaten the four-decade-old peace treaty between Israel and Egypt.

More than 31,270 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since the start of the war, the territory’s Health Ministry says.

Some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were killed in southern Israel during the Hamas-led incursion on Oct. 7.


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