More than a million displaced people in the south Gaza city of Rafah are facing an even more dire situation following Israel’s attack on the border town. The situation has worsened despite international warnings and Hamas-Authorities reporting that up to 160 Palestinians had died by Monday, including fighters from the terrorist organization while freeing two hostages.
Israeli media reports that up to 1.5 million people are located on the border with Egypt, including up to 300,000 original residents of the city and 1.2 million internally displaced people who are now seeking to escape via “safe corridors.” The situation in the south of the Gaza Strip is described as catastrophic and terrible, with tens of thousands of casualties and a dire lack of humanitarian aid.
Egypt is threatening to revoke its peace treaty with Israel over the attacks, which could have significant political implications if a major offensive occurs. President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has increased military presence on the border and is pressuring Israel to refrain from a major offensive on Rafah. However, Netanyahu seems determined to take Rafah by storm, leading military experts to expect heavy ground fighting that could last for weeks.
There are fears that a continuation of the conflict during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan could ignite a conflagration throughout the entire region, adding another layer of complexity to an already volatile situation.