According to UN estimates, there are currently more than 1.3 million Palestinians in Rafah, who were evacuated from other areas of Gaza. Residents who were evacuated from Rafah told CNN that they are afraid they will have nowhere else to go if Israel enters the city, which is very close to the Gaza-Egypt border.
Martin Griffiths, responsible for the humanitarian issue in the organization, warned that there is nowhere else to go in Gaza, the citizens must be protected and all their essential needs such as protected spaces, food, and health must be provided.
The American Wall Street Journal reported that officials in the Biden administration pointed to the operation in Rafah as a point of contention with Israel. US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that military action would be disastrous for these people and is not something the US supports.
Opposition to the Israeli action is also present in the Arab countries. The Saudi Foreign Ministry came out against Israel’s intention to enter Rafah, warning of the dangerous consequences and the need for an immediate ceasefire. The Jordanian Foreign Ministry also condemned the displacement of the Palestinians and called for an immediate end to the war in the Gaza Strip.
The expected Israeli action in Rafah raises tension between Israel and Egypt. Cairo makes it clear that action in the city without coordination will seriously damage relations between the countries. Measures such as the installation of cameras and sensors and the mobilization of tanks and armored personnel carriers in northeastern Sinai have been deployed by Egypt to prepare for the possibility that Palestinians would try to cross into Egypt. Egypt also sent an delegation to Tel Aviv for talks about the situation in Rafah and has warned Hamas about the consequences of not reaching an agreement with Israel within two weeks.