HRW warns that forcing the evacuation of Rafah, in Gaza, would be illegal – El Sol de México

The Israeli order to evacuate the city of Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip, where 1.7 million Palestinians are crowded (most of them already evacuated from other parts of the strip) is “illegal” and “may have consequences catastrophic events,” the Human Rights Watch organization said in a statement this Friday.

HRW was referring to the announcement of an Israeli military offensive against that city and to the following warning from the Jewish State: “It is clear that a massive operation in Rafah requires the evacuation of the civilian population from the combat zones.”

“There is no safe place left in Gaza. The international community must take steps to prevent further atrocities,” said Nadia Hardman, HRW refugee crisis researcher.

The statement recalls that international law prohibits the forced displacement of civilians except to guarantee their security temporarily, and that the opposite is a war crime; Furthermore, he recalled that civilians who do not obey displacement orders due to incapacity, illness or fear “are fully protected by international humanitarian law.”

Both the UN and the United States. have expressed their concern about a possible expansion of the Israeli Army’s ground offensive to Rafah, the last refuge for more than a million Gazans who have been fleeing the fighting for four months.

The State Department warned Thursday that a military operation in Rafah, without proper planning for the evacuation of civilians, would be “a disaster.”

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