Israel-Palestine Escalation
Israel was hit by an unprecedented rocket attack from the Gaza Strip on October 7, with Hamas movement's troops infiltrating border areas. On October 8, the Israeli government announced that it had invoked Article 40 of the Basic Law, which means the country was officially in a state of war.

South Africa 'Horrified' by Israel's Call for Civilian Evacuation in Rafah, Foreign Ministry Says

© AP Photo / Hatem AliA tent camp housing Palestinians displaced by the Israeli offensive is seen in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024.
A tent camp housing Palestinians displaced by the Israeli offensive is seen in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 07.05.2024
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - South Africa is "horrified" by Israel's intention to launch a military operation in the southern Gazan city of Rafah and its call for an immediate evacuation of local residents, the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation said on Monday.
Earlier in the day, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that it had dropped flyers on eastern Rafah urging local residents to evacuate to a humanitarian area.

"The Government of South Africa is deeply disturbed about the unfolding developments in Gaza and is horrified by the Israeli military’s announcement that Rafah should be evacuated immediately as it will be operating in the area with 'extreme force.' This intended action amounts to forced displacement of Palestinians in Gaza that is unlawful under international law … South Africa reiterates that there must be an immediate ceasefire and negotiations to this end must continue," the department said in a statement.

The Israeli operation in Rafah could destroy the "last refuge" for people in the besieged enclave, the statement added.
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"Rafah has become a temporary shelter for Palestinians who have been forced to relocate there, with already limited access to food, medical care and other services after months of bombardment by Israel of their homes in the rest of the Gaza Strip," the statement read.

On October 7, 2023, Palestinian movement Hamas launched a large-scale rocket attack against Israel and breached the border, attacking both civilian neighborhoods and military bases. Nearly 1,200 people in Israel were killed and some 240 others abducted during the attack.
Israel launched retaliatory strikes, ordered a complete blockade of Gaza, and started a ground incursion into the Palestinian enclave with the declared goal of eliminating Hamas fighters and rescuing the hostages. Over 34,700 people have been killed so far by Israeli strikes in the Gaza Strip, according to local authorities. More than 100 hostages are still believed to be held by Hamas in Gaza.