Don’t let Israel attack Rafah, Irish foreign minister warns EU

Don’t let Israel, attack Rafah, Irish foreign minister, warns EU
Displaced Palestinians stand outside their tents in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on February 14, 2024. (SAID KHATIB / AFP)
Don’t let israel, attack rafah, irish foreign minister, warns eu
Displaced palestinians stand outside their tents in rafah in the southern gaza strip on february 14, 2024. (said khatib / afp)

The European Union “must do everything possible” to pressure the Israeli government not to attack Rafah, Irish Foreign Minister, Micheál Martin, said on Monday in Brussels.

Martin said the “level of inhumanity that’s now happening within Gaza” has shocked the world, referencing Israel’s ground and air offensive to defeat Hamas in response to the Oct. 7, 2023 terrorist attack.

The Israeli government has been preparing to launch a full-scale ground offensive into Rafah, the southernmost city in Gaza near the border with Egypt, despite international fears that it would lead to massive civilian casualties.

Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister, Xavier Bettel, said he had warned Israel that the country was in danger of losing “the last support they have in the world” should they attack.

Martin called on Hamas to release the Israeli hostages taken in the Oct. 7, 2023 attack and to surrender their weapons and for a humanitarian ceasefire.

The Irish foreign minister also called for sanctions on Israeli settlers in the West Bank.

EU foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said the unanimity required among EU member states to impose the punitive measures was still missing.

German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, said tensions were growing in the West Bank and that the violent actions of Israeli settlers against Palestinians must be addressed by the Israeli government.

Expressing her support for sanctions, Baerbock said the EU “must make it clear to extremist settlers” that breaking law would not go unanswered.