Oxfam reaction to Rafah evacuation order

Humanitarian Advocacy, Media Releases article written on the 07 May 2024

In reaction to Israel’s imminent invasion of Rafah, Sally Abi-Khalil, Oxfam’s Middle East and North Africa Regional Director said:

“We are horrified by Israel’s order to evacuate around 100,000 people and what appears to be an impending invasion of Rafah, despite a universal plea from world leaders urging it to stop its continued, barbaric, onslaught.

“The fear in Rafah is palpable, as people who have already been forced to flee across Gaza multiple times, must now move again.

“For over six months, Israel has deliberately and systematically targeted civilians and aid workers, including in clearly marked ‘safe zones’ and ‘evacuation routes’. Any claims it now makes that civilians can be safely evacuated, have lost credibility. Al-Mawasi area – a so-called humanitarian safe zone where people have been told to flee – has already been targeted twice.

“With Israel now blocking aid, fuel or goods from entering the two critical crossings of Rafah and Kerem Shalom, humanitarian efforts to save lives will be even more difficult.

“It’s unfathomable that one government is allowed to ignore all warnings of the catastrophic humanitarian cost with full impunity, and to callously press forward in chilling disregard for human life, international law, and the ICJ ruling to prevent genocide.

“This ground invasion must not be allowed to happen. With their multi-billion-dollar funds and direct arms support, powerful nations have effectively given Israel carte blanche to commit war crimes, they must finally act before more atrocities take place and press even harder for an immediate, permanent ceasefire.”

For interviews, contact Lucy Brown on 0478 190 099 / lucyb@oxfam.org.au