ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 142

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Jordan king: We can’t afford IDF attack on Rafah, which will bring another catastrophe

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

Jordan's King Abdullah II speaks as President Joe Biden listens in the Cross Hall of the White House, Monday, Feb. 12, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Jordan's King Abdullah II speaks as President Joe Biden listens in the Cross Hall of the White House, Monday, Feb. 12, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Jordan’s King Abdullah begins his post-White House meeting remarks by asserting, “We cannot afford an Israeli attack on Rafah. It is certain to produce another humanitarian catastrophe.”

Israel says it is planning to operate in the southern Gaza city in order to dismantle Hamas’s remaining battalions. However, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicated Friday that civilians will be allowed to evacuate first.

Where they will be able to evacuate remains unclear as Israel is opposed to allowing Palestinians to return to the north, which has been largely destroyed, and Egypt is refusing to accept refugees due to fears that Israel will not allow them back into Gaza after the war.

“The situation is already unbearable for over a million people who have been pushed into Rafah since the war started. We cannot stand by and let this continue. We need a lasting ceasefire now. This war must end,” Abdullah says, noting that nearly “100,000 people have been killed, injured or are missing — the majority are women and children — since the war began.

“The potential threat of Palestinian displacement beyond the borders of Gaza and the West Bank is something we view with extreme concern and cannot be allowed,” he adds.

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