World shrugs as Israel carries out massacre in Gaza's Rafah, presses ahead with plans for ground attack where over million Palestinians are sheltering
According to health officials, scores were killed in the overnight massacre, as Palestinians brace for a major offensive on the densely crowded area with Palestinians left with nowhere safe to go.
Palestinian officials reported that at least 67 people were killed in the attacks, while a Palestinian foreign ministry statement later said that 100 people were killed and hundreds of others injured in several massacres resulting from the pre-dawn strikes.
The victims included many women and children, according to Wafa news agency, which said the strikes targeted residential buildings and three mosques, where dozens had sought refuge.
Rafah is now the most densely populated area in the world with some 1.5 million Palestinians crammed there after being displaced from northern and central Gaza following orders from Israel.
The latest horrifying attacks would only be a glimpse of what is to come if Israel presses ahead with its plans for a ground invasion of the area in southern Gaza.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted on Monday that the Rafah operation would go ahead.
Washington, which initially opposed Israel's plan, appeared to have all but greenlit Israel's invasion despite reports that relations between US President Joe Biden and Netanyahu were at breaking point.
Washington has backed Tel Aviv’s war under the pretext of fighting Hamas, despite the majority of those killed being women and children.
However, tensions between the allies have been on the rise, with Biden describing Israel's military campaign against Hamas as “over the top”.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned of the "grave dangers" of the possible Israeli invasion of Rafah, Wafa reported.
In a statement on Monday, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) warned that the invasion of Rafah will have "potentially catastrophic consequences".
"Nowhere in Gaza is safe, and repeated forced displacements have pushed people to Rafah, where they are trapped in a tiny patch of land and have no options[...]We call on the government of Israel to immediately halt this offensive, and to all supporting governments including the United States, to take concrete action to bring about a complete and sustained ceasefire," Meinie Nicolai, MSF Director General, said.
The situation is 'very, very dangerous'
British Foreign Secretary David Cameron also urged Israel to stop and think seriously before taking any further action in Rafah in comments on Monday.
"We think it is impossible to see how you can fight a war amongst these people. There's nowhere for them to go," Cameron told reporters.
"We are very concerned about the situation and we want Israel to stop and think very seriously before it takes any further action. But above all, what we want is an immediate pause in the fighting and we want that pause to lead to a ceasefire."
Belgian minister Caroline Gennez described the situation as extremely worrying in comments to reporters ahead of an EU informal meeting of development ministers in Brussels.
"We'll be discussing UNRWA and the situation in Gaza. We live in the most dire humanitarian crisis in ages, 1.2 million people are stuck at the border with Rafah. The situation is very, very dangerous," said the development cooperation minister.
"That's why it is important that we keep supporting innocent civilians. That we ask for an immediate cease-fire. That we ask for the liberation of the hostages. And that we also ask for more humanitarian access into the Gaza Strip."
Gennez said hostilities must end, adding that "Gazans, Palestinians and Israelis alike have the right to live in peace, to live in security and that's why negotiations must start for a two-state solution."
Israel's onslaught on the besieged Gaza Strip has already killed over 28,300 people - mostly women and children - and injured at least 67,900 since 7 October.