UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warns that if Israel pushes its Gaza ground operation into the southern city of Rafah, it would have “untold regional consequences.”
“I am especially alarmed by reports that the Israeli military intends to focus next on Rafah, where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been squeezed in a desperate search for safety,” said Guterres, adding that “such an action would exponentially increase what is already a humanitarian nightmare with untold regional consequences.”
The UN has previously referred to the situation in Rafah as a “pressure cooker of despair.”
An offensive in Rafah could push Palestinians into Egypt, undermining Israel’s peace agreement with the country and angering the United States. It might also torpedo slow-moving negotiations with Hamas and complicate efforts to release the 132 Israelis who remain hostages in the Gaza Strip since October 7.