The UK Foreign Minister David Cameron on Saturday said he is "deeply concerned” about the prospect of an Israeli military offensive in Rafah, as “over half of Gaza’s population are sheltering in the area."
"The priority must be an immediate pause in the fighting to get aid in and hostages out, then progress towards a sustainable, permanent ceasefire," Cameron said on X.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday asked the Israeli army to remobilize reserve soldiers in preparation for a ground offensive in the city of Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, the Israeli media reported.
The Palestinians have sought refuge in Rafah as Israel pounded the rest of the enclave following the Oct. 7 Hamas incursion. The bombardment has killed more than 28,000 people, besides causing mass destruction and shortages of basic necessities.
The Israeli offensive has left 85% of Gaza’s population internally displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure was damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.
Last month, the International Court of Justice issued an interim order demanding that Israel stop obstructing aid deliveries into Gaza and improve the humanitarian situation in the enclave following a lawsuit by South Africa, accusing Tel Aviv of committing genocide.