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Israeli Defence Minister outlines plans for future actions in Rafah

Israel’s Defence Minister Yoav Gallant has discussed further action in Rafah with representatives of his ministry and the Israeli COGAT authority. The focus is on the evacuation of civilians from Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip, and the expansion of food and medicine deliveries to the area.

The meeting comes as more than a million people have fled to Rafah from attacks in the Gaza Strip, raising concerns about potential mass civilian casualties in the event of Israel’s planned offensive in the area. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu previously mentioned setting a date for an offensive in Rafah, although Gallant later contradicted this statement.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for increased cooperation between Muslim countries in response to the conflict in Gaza. Erdogan spoke with the Emir of Qatar, emphasizing the need to stop Israel’s “brutal attacks” in the Gaza Strip and hold the country accountable for alleged “crimes against humanity.”

The deteriorating relations between Israel and Turkey have been exacerbated by the Gaza war, which followed an attack by Palestinian militants on the Israeli border area. Erdogan has criticized Israel’s military actions in Gaza, accusing Netanyahu of committing a “massacre,” a claim that Israel denies. Turkey maintains ties with Hamas, the ruling party in Gaza, which is not classified as a terrorist organization by the Turkish government.

The conflict in Gaza has resulted in a significant loss of life, with more than 1,200 people killed and around 200 abducted to the Gaza Strip in the attack by Hamas and other Palestinian militants. Health officials in Gaza report that over 33,000 people have been killed since the start of the conflict on October 7, 2023. The situation remains tense as efforts to address the humanitarian crisis and prevent further escalation continue.

–IANS/DPA

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