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Israel´s attack over Rafah could lead to slaughter, says Guterres

United Nations, Feb 13 (Prensa Latina) The UN Secretary-General (UNSG) António Guterres on Tuesday warned of a breakdown of public order in Gaza while the population in Rafah remains terrified by Israel´s ground offensive threat.

The UN chief expressed deep concern about Israel-imposed restrictions to limit humanitarian aid distribution, while mechanisms to protect assistance deliveries are not so effective.

“My sincere hope is that negotiations for the release of hostages and some form of cessation of hostilities will succeed in order to avoid an all-out offensive over Rafah where the core of the humanitarian system is located and which would have devastating consequences,” Guterres told the press.

Guterres also mourned the number of journalists killed in this conflict following two more victims were confirmed in the last hours.

“Freedom of the press is a fundamental condition for people to know what is really happening everywhere globally,” Guterres added.

The military operations in Rafah could bring about a carnage in Gaza and leave an already fragile humanitarian operation on the brink of death, as warned by UN Under-Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths.

Griffiths laid stress on the lack of security guarantees, aid supplies and personnel capacity to keep the assistance operation afloat.

The scenario we have long feared is crumbling at an alarming rate,” Griffiths said in a statement.

Over half of Gaza’s population – more than a million people – are crowded into Rafah, staring death in the face: they have little to eat, barely any access to medical care, nowhere to sleep, nowhere safe to go, the text lamented.

Civilians are suffering from “widespread despair, the collapse of law and order and the defunding of UNRWA” (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East), he added.

Griffiths warned the Israeli government that it can no longer ignore these calls, recalling the international community’s warning of the dangerous consequences of any ground invasion in Rafah.