Israel orders new evacuations in Rafah after UN votes in favor of Palestine's membership-Xinhua

Israel orders new evacuations in Rafah after UN votes in favor of Palestine's membership

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-05-12 14:47:15

JERUSALEM, May 12 (Xinhua) -- Israel ordered new evacuations on Saturday in Gaza's southern city of Rafah as it prepared to escalate its military operation, a day after the United Nations (UN) passed a resolution endorsing the Palestinian request for full UN membership.


More than 1 million displaced Palestinians are seeking refuge in Rafah, where a severe humanitarian crisis looms large due to shortages of essential supplies such as water, food and medical care. Now, the city is on the brink of a new impending crisis.

"The residents of the camps of Shaboura and the Al-Adari, Al-Jeneina, and Khirbet Al-Adas neighborhoods in Blocks 6-9, 17, 25-27, and 31 must leave their houses immediately," Avichai Adraee, spokesperson of the Israeli army, said in a statement.

Hamas militants used the mentioned areas for military activities against the Israeli people, which forced the army to expand its military operations there to eliminate Hamas fighters, said Adraee.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, that to continue its precise operations in specific areas of eastern Rafah, it has urged the population from additional areas in eastern Rafah to temporarily evacuate to the expanded humanitarian area in Al-Mawasi.

The UN has warned that a Rafah invasion would further exacerbate the humanitarian crisis and lead to a rise in civilian casualties.

Georgios Petropoulos, an official with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Rafah, said the World Food Program will run out of food for distribution in southern Gaza by Saturday.

"We simply have no tents, we have no blankets, no bedding," he was quoted as saying.

Israel's latest move has caused discontent in the West. U.S. President Joe Biden has said the United States won't supply Israel with weapons if it launches Rafah offensive.

His administration said on Friday that there was substantial evidence suggesting that Israel had violated international laws protecting civilians.

European Council President Charles Michel also urged Israel not to carry out a military operation in Rafah. "Evacuation orders for civilians trapped in Rafah to unsafe zones are unacceptable," Michel wrote on X on Saturday.


The UN General Assembly on Friday adopted a historic resolution supporting the Palestinian bid to become a full UN member.

It showcased increasing support for the Palestinians, with numerous countries expressing outrage over the rising death toll in Gaza and concerns about a potential major Israeli offensive in Rafah.

The resolution was adopted with 143 votes in favor and nine against, including the United States and Israel, while 25 countries abstained. It "determines" that a State of Palestine is qualified for membership, dropping the original language that in the UN General Assembly's judgment it is "a peace-loving state."

"The overwhelming vote in favor of the resolution clearly indicates the compass of global will and the direction of international public opinion," Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit was cited as saying in a statement released by the Cairo-based, pan-Arab organization.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the "historic resolution" recognized the rights of Palestinian people who have suffered for more than seven decades of foreign occupation.

Also on Friday, South Africa submitted another urgent request to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), urging the court to persuade Israel to take steps to prevent genocide of the Palestinians, including a demand that Israel withdraw from Rafah immediately.

Israel has called on the ICJ to reject the urgent request. "The repeated requests for provisional measures made by South Africa, which are based on false claims and deliberate omissions of fact in order to assist Hamas, are yet another attempt to cynically exploit the ICJ in The Hague," Oren Marmorstein, a spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, wrote on X.