Saudi Arabia warned on Saturday that Israel’s planned army operation in overcrowded Rafah will result in a humanitarian catastrophe and urged the United Nations Security Council to intervene.
In a statement, the foreign ministry stated, “The kingdom warned of the extremely dangerous repercussions of storming and targeting Rafah and affirmed its categorical rejection and strong condemnation of their forced deportation”.
“This continued violation of international law and international humanitarian law confirms the necessity of convening the Security Council urgently to prevent Israel from causing an imminent humanitarian catastrophe”, the statement added.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu directed the army on Friday to prepare to evacuate civilians from Rafah ahead of a ground operation against Hamas in the city.
More than one million displaced Palestinians have sought safety in the city in Gaza’s far south, with many sheltering in tents pressed up against the border with Egypt and the sea.
Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s holiest sites, has never acknowledged Israel but was considering doing so before the Israel-Hamas conflict broke out in October.
The war began when Hamas operatives attacked southern Israel, killing approximately 1,160 people, the majority of whom were civilians.
Israel launched a massive military attack in Gaza, vowing to eradicate Hamas, killing at least 27,947 people, the majority of them women and children.
Riyadh has consistently called for a ceasefire and condemned Israeli aggression in Gaza.
While US President Joe Biden’s administration has expressed hope that Saudi-Israeli normalization might be reestablished, Saudi Arabia stated this week that it will not normalize relations with Israel until an independent Palestinian state is recognized and Israeli forces leave Gaza.
Gaza’s Hamas authorities warned Saturday that Israeli operations in Rafah might result in tens of thousands of casualties.
The office of Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas stated that the action threatens security and peace in the region in the world and is a blatant violation of all red lines.