Israel-Hamas war: Paris calls for a “stop to the fighting”, Israel persists with an offensive on Rafah… Update on Sunday February 11

France, deeply concerned after the Israeli strikes in Rafah (south of the Gaza Strip), urged Israel on Sunday February 11 to stop the fighting

Israel-Hamas war: Paris calls for a “stop to the fighting”, Israel persists with an offensive on Rafah… Update on Sunday February 11

France, deeply concerned after the Israeli strikes in Rafah (south of the Gaza Strip), urged Israel on Sunday February 11 to stop the fighting. “A large-scale Israeli offensive in Rafah would create a catastrophic humanitarian situation of a new dimension and unjustifiable,” responded the deputy spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Christophe Lemoine. “In order to avoid disaster, we reiterate our call for an end to the fighting,” he added in a statement.

Paris recalls that “Rafah is today a place where more than 1.3 million people are taking refuge. It is also a vital crossing point for delivering humanitarian aid for the population of Gaza,” underlines the spokesperson for the Quai d’Orsay.

“In Gaza, as everywhere else, France opposes any forced displacement of populations, prohibited by international humanitarian law,” commented Christophe Lemoine. “The future of the Gaza Strip and its inhabitants can only be found in a Palestinian state living in peace and security alongside Israel,” he also added.

The Israeli Prime Minister persisted on Sunday in his desire to launch a military offensive against Rafah. “Victory is within reach. We will do it,” Benjamin Netanyahu said in an interview with ABC News broadcast on Sunday, calling Rafah the “last bastion” of the Islamist movement.

“Those who say that we absolutely must not enter Rafah are in reality telling us that we must lose the war, and leave Hamas there,” he said. Israel will provide “safe passage for the civilian population so that they can leave” the premises, he said. “We are developing a detailed system to achieve this,” he added, “we are not approaching this casually. » He mentioned areas north of Rafah that have been cleared and could, he said, be used as safe areas for civilians.

The fighting seemed particularly intense on Sunday a few kilometers to the north, in Khan Younes, one of the strongholds of Hamas command, where the Israeli army has been tracking its fighters for several weeks. Correspondents from Agence France-Presse (AFP) heard regular explosions, planes flying overhead and saw several plumes of black smoke escaping from the city and its surroundings.

Hamas warned on Sunday that an Israeli military offensive against Rafah would threaten ongoing negotiations over an exchange of hostages and Palestinians held by Israel.

What the Israeli Prime Minister and the army “have not managed to do in more than four months, they will fail to do no matter how long the war lasts,” a senior Israeli official told AFP on Sunday. Hamas.

The Hamas health ministry announced on Sunday a toll of 28,176 people killed, including 112 who died in the last twenty-four hours, and 67,784 people injured since the start of the war. This assessment could not be independently verified.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raïssi called on Sunday to exclude Israel from the United Nations (UN), celebrating the forty-fifth anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, marked with rallies in Tehran and major Iranian cities .

Because “what is happening in Gaza today is a crime against humanity, and the supporters of this criminal regime are the United States and certain Western countries,” he declared during a speech given to thousands of people gathered in Azadi (“Freedom”) Square in the capital on the public holiday.

President Raïssi accused Israel of having “violated four hundred declarations, resolutions and agreements” concluded within “international organizations”.

The war between Israel and Hamas has ravaged the Palestinian economy in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Sunday. “The dire outlook for the Palestinian economy is worsening as the conflict continues,” added Kristalina Georgieva, speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai.

“Only lasting peace and a political solution will fundamentally change the situation,” she said. Economically, the impact of the conflict was devastating. »

In the Gaza Strip, economic activity fell by 80% from October to December 2023 compared to the same period in 2022, according to the IMF director. In the West Bank, territory occupied by Israel since 1967, the decline was 22%, she said.