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Aid peak warns of humanitarian catastrophe over Rafah assault

ACFID < 1 mins read

Media release | Wednesday, 8 May 2024

The Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) warns a full-scale military assault on the Gazan city of Rafah would have catastrophic humanitarian consequences.

The peak body for humanitarian agencies said 1.3 million people, 600,000 of them children, were trapped in Rafah after Israeli attacks forced them from their homes.

ACFID CEO Marc Purcell said:

“Civilians fled to Rafah because Israel said it was a safe zone. Now, the city risks becoming a zone of death for a starving population with nowhere left to flee.

“Rafah is a hub for the humanitarian workers who have been able to stay in Gaza and their lives are in danger. A full-scale assault would be catastrophic for aid efforts already on the brink of collapse.

“An agreement for an enduring ceasefire, including the secure passage of unimpeded humanitarian assistance and the release of all hostages, is more urgent than ever. 

“Hamas rocket attacks on Gaza’s northern border and Israeli strikes on Rafah will make the already difficult task of getting lifesaving aid to malnourished, injured people even harder. 

“ACFID strongly endorses comments by Foreign Minister Penny Wong urging Israel not to go down this path. But we need more than words. 

“A two-way arms embargo, and targeted sanctions on those Israeli officials responsible for encouraging the use of starvation as a weapon of war, would put real pressure on the Israeli government.”

For more information, contact Georgie Moore 0477 779 928.

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