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WHO Urges Israel to Halt Ground Assault on Rafah

March 17, 2024
WHO Halt Ground Assault

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has issued a fervent plea to Israel, urging an immediate halt to its ground assault on Rafah, the southernmost city in Gaza. Expressing grave concern over the plight of 1.2 million people trapped in the conflict zone, Tedros emphasized the lack of safe havens for the civilian population.

“I’m gravely concerned about reports of an Israeli plan to proceed with a ground assault on Rafah,” Tedros remarked, underscoring the potential for further loss of life and increased suffering in an already overwhelmed healthcare system.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s approval of plans for an attack on Rafah, where approximately 1.5 million Palestinian refugees are seeking refuge, has heightened international alarm. The Xinhua news agency reported Netanyahu’s decision on Friday, prompting urgent calls for restraint from the global health community.

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In a fervent appeal, the WHO called on Israel to reconsider its military operation and prioritize efforts toward peace, emphasizing the imperative of safeguarding civilian lives and preventing a deepening humanitarian crisis.

“This humanitarian catastrophe must not be allowed to worsen,” Tedros asserted, echoing the sentiments of many humanitarian organizations worldwide. With health facilities already strained to their limits, any escalation of violence in densely populated areas like Rafah threatens to exacerbate the suffering of innocent civilians.


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