“No safe zone in Gaza”: Top EU diplomat adds voice to criticism of Netanyahu

“No safe zone in Gaza”: Top EU diplomat adds voice to criticism of Netanyahu

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell added his voice to mounting criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday for ignoring international demands over the attack on Rafah, which has become a new focus in the seven-month war.

Although Hamas agreed to a draft ceasefire agreement, Netanyahu has vowed to continue the assault on the city. Israeli forces have taken control of the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing, a key entry point for aid to Gaza on the Egyptian border.

The move was shorthand for Netanyahu’s threatened full-scale operation on Rafah, but Borrell described it as a ground attack.

“The ground attack on Rafah has started again, despite all the requests of the international community — the US, the member states of the European Union — everyone is asking Netanyahu not to attack Rafah,” the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said in a briefing Tuesday.

“Despite these warnings and requests, the attack started last night. I fear this will cause many more casualties, civilians, whatever they say. There are 600,000 children in Gaza. They will be rejected for the so-called ‘safety zone’ — there is no safe zone in Gaza.”

Earlier on Tuesday, the Norwegian Refugee Council’s (NRC) head of operations in Gaza, Suze van Meegen, made a similar statement, telling CNN: “Not only is there no safe place to go, for many people there is no way to get there.”

Borrell also described the lack of agreement on a ceasefire as “sad news,” adding: “Hamas accepted, Israel rejected.”

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