Iran's FM urges UN to prevent Israel's military offensive on Rafah

Tehran, Feb 20 (IANS): Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has called on the United Nations to prevent a possible major Israeli offensive on the city of Rafah in southern Gaza.

Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks in a letter addressed to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, according to a statement published on Monday on the Iranian Foreign Ministry's website.

"As you rightly said recently, an all-out offensive on the city would be devastating for the 1.5 million Palestinian civilians there who are already on the edge of survival," said the Iranian Foreign Minister.

He called on the international community not to let such "carnage" happen, stressing that "any military offensive on Rafah would undoubtedly qualify as another phase in the Israeli genocide of the Palestinian nation".

The Iranian Foreign Minister also added it was imperative that the UN fulfilled its responsibilities and averted further "mass atrocities" against the Palestinians, who had taken refuge in Rafah, Xinhua news agency reported.

Over the past few weeks, Israel has signaled an intention to conduct a ground operation in Rafah to "eliminate" Hamas and rescue Israeli captives.

On February 12, the Israeli army and special forces jointly raided Rafah and rescued two captives held by Hamas since last October.

The UN Security Council plans to hold a vote on Tuesday on the draft resolution requested by Algeria, which would demand an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.

Israel has been fighting with Hamas in the Gaza Strip since October 7, 2023, after the group launched a surprise attack on southern Israel that killed about 1,200 people. Israel has so far killed more than 29,000 Palestinians, the Gaza-based Health Ministry said on Monday.




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Title: Iran's FM urges UN to prevent Israel's military offensive on Rafah

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