As Gaza Death Toll Rises To 34,500, UN Warns Israel Against Rafah Attack

With no date fixed for the assault and Gaza's death toll rising, UN officials have stated that an attack on Rafah "is on the immediate horizon".

As Gaza Death Toll Rises To 34,500, UN Warns Israel Against Rafah Attack Photo: AP

Ahead of Israel's Rafah Attack, the United Nations has warned Tel Aviv against carrying out its assault on the southern Gaza city. UN secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged states close to Israel "to do everything in their power" to stop the attack on Rafah.

Rafah is a city in southern Gaza. During the first phase of the war, over a million Palestinians fled to the city as Israel bombarded the northern part of the densely populated strip.

However, after the November truce between Israel and Hamas, Israeli military forces shifted their focus to southern Gaza to complete their goal of "eliminating Hamas". As part of this mission, Rafah is left.

Currently, around 1.2 million Palestinians are seeking shelter in Rafah due to the war.

UN Chief and In's aid chief Martin Griffins have stated in a statement that a ground operation in Rafah "will be nothing short of a tragedy beyond words".

With no date fixed for the assault, UN officials have stated that the attack "is on the immediate horizon".

The UN officials have also stated if Israel does go ahead with the attack on Rafah, its improvement in allowing aid into Gaza cannot be used as a justification for its attack.

"These improvements in bringing more aid into Gaza cannot be used to prepare for or justify a full-blown military assault on Rafah," stated Martin Griffiths.

Despite pressure from the international community against an operation in Rafah, Israel has stated time and again that it will not back down. In his latest statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated that Israel will proceed with the Rafah attack "with out without" a truce deal.

As the Rafah attack looms, Israeli bombardment since October 7 has resulted in thousands of deaths in the Gaza Strip. As per the latest numbers from the Gaza Health Ministry, the death toll has reached 34,535 people.

In the past 24 hours, around 47 people were killed. The ministry added that as the war enters its seventh month, a total of 77,704 people have been injured.