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EU Urges Israel to End Its Military Operation in Rafah – High Representative

A picture taken in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, on April 17, 2021, shows an explosion following an airstrike by Israel. – The Israeli military said it had conducted airstrikes against targets in the Gaza Strip following a rocket attack from the Palestinian enclave, in the second such exchange in as many days. (Photo by SAID KHATIB / AFP)

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The European Union is urging Israel to end its operation in Rafah in the Gaza Strip, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Wednesday.”The European Union urges Israel to end its military operation in Rafah immediately. This operation is further disrupting the distribution of humanitarian aid in Gaza and is leading to more internal displacement, exposure to famine and human suffering,” the statement said. The EU is also calling on Israel to reopen the Rafah crossing point.

"The European Union is calling on Israel to refrain from further exacerbating the already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza and reopen the crossing point of Rafah. Should Israel continue its military operation in Rafah, it would inevitably put a heavy strain on the EU’s relationship with Israel. Under International Humanitarian Law, Israel must allow and facilitate unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief for civilians," the statement said.

The ongoing Israeli operation in Rafah, southern Gaza, will lead to complications for the further development of EU-Israeli relations, Borrell noted.WorldUS Army Intel Staffer Quits, ‘Haunted’ by Biden’s Gaza PolicyYesterday, 09:45 GMT”The European Union is calling on Israel to refrain from further exacerbating the already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza and reopen the crossing point of Rafah. Should Israel continue its military operation in Rafah, it would inevitably put a heavy strain on the EU’s relationship with Israel,” Borrel said in a statement, published on the EU External Action website.The EU calls on the Jewish state to immediately cease its operation in Rafah and urges both Israel and Hamas to “redouble their efforts” to negotiate a truce and hostage release, the diplomat saidLast week, European Council President Charles Michel urged Israel not to carry out a military operation in Rafah and called it unacceptable to force civilians to evacuate the city to unsafe areas.

Last week, the Israeli army started a military operation in the eastern parts of Rafah and took control of the Gaza side of the Rafah crossing with Egypt. Israeli authorities say the operation is aimed at eliminating the remaining battalions of Palestinian movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip. On Friday, Israeli media reported that Israel's military cabinet had approved expanding the ground operation in Rafah.

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