USA insists on protecting civilians
Israel is planning hundreds of thousands of tents for Rafah residents
February 13, 2024, 3:05 a.m
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After international criticism of the planned military offensive on Rafah, Israel is proposing tent cities for the population – set up by Egypt. The USA is not only calling for the protection of civilians, but is also working on a ceasefire lasting several weeks.
According to a media report, Israel has proposed setting up extensive tent cities for the city’s population to be evacuated ahead of the planned military offensive on Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip. As the Wall Street Journal reported, citing Egyptian officials, Israel’s evacuation proposal calls for the establishment of 15 camps, each with around 25,000 tents, in the southwestern part of the sealed-off coastal area. Egypt, which borders Rafah, would be responsible for setting up the camps and field hospitals, it said.
The city is overcrowded with hundreds of thousands of Palestinian internally displaced people seeking protection in a very small space. In the war against the Islamist Hamas, Israel is currently preparing for a military offensive on the city, which it sees as Hamas’s last bastion in Gaza. The proposal to evacuate the population was made to Egypt in recent days, the newspaper reported. It comes at a time when Israel’s planned military offensive on Rafah is met with strong international criticism.
US President Joe Biden once again urgently called for the protection of the civilian population. A military operation in Rafah “cannot take place without a credible plan to ensure the security and support of more than a million people seeking protection there,” he said after meeting Jordan’s King Abdullah II at the White House.
USA is working on hostage agreements
Many people there have been displaced from other places, displaced several times, fleeing violence in the north. Now they are “crammed together, unprotected and defenseless” in Rafah. “They must be protected,” demanded Biden. The US government also made it clear from the start that it was against any forced expulsion of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip.
According to Biden, the US is working on a “at least six-week” ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. His government is working on a “hostage agreement between Israel and Hamas that will bring immediate and lasting calm to the Gaza Strip,” he said at the meeting with Abdullah II.