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Situation In Rafah 'Very, Very Dangerous,' Says Belgian Minister

12.02.2024 13:57

It is important that we keep supporting innocent civilians, Development Cooperation Minister Caroline Gennez tells reporters in Brussels.

A Belgian minister said on Monday that the situation in Rafah, the southern Gazan city where Israel plans a ground invasion, is "very, very dangerous," insisting on continuing support for Palestinians civilians.

"We'll be discussing UNRWA and the situation in Gaza. We live the most dire humanitarian crisis in ages, 1.2 million people are stuck at the border with Rafah. The situation is very, very dangerous," Development Cooperation Minister Caroline Gennez told reporters ahead of an EU informal meeting of development ministers in Brussels.

"That's why it is important that we keep supporting innocent civilians. That we ask for an immediate cease-fire. That we ask for the liberation of the hostages. And that we also ask for more humanitarian access into the Gaza Strip."

Gennez said hostilities must end, adding that "Gazans, Palestinians and Israelis alike have the right to live in peace, to live in security and that's why negotiations must start for a two-state solution."

Belgium holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union from Jan. 1 to June 30.

Disregarding the provisional ruling of the International Court of Justice to prevent genocidal acts, Israel continues its offensive on the Gaza Strip since the Oct. 7 cross-border incursion by Hamas.

The death toll in the attacks has reached 28,340, along with 67,984 others wounded. The military campaign has also led to massive displacement, destruction and shortages of food, water and shelter. Tel Aviv says the initial Hamas attacks killed 1,200 people.

Despite international outcry, Israel plans a ground invasion of Rafah, where more than 1 million of Gaza's 2.3 million people have found some kind of shelter.​​​​​​​ -

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