‘No Feasible Plan’ – NGOs Warn US of Humanitarian Disaster Over Israeli Invasion of Rafah


The vast majority of Gaza civilians are displaced though they remain a target. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

“We, the undersigned humanitarian, human rights, foreign policy, and other concerned organizations, want to be clear that no such credible humanitarian plan is feasible in the current crisis.”

More than 40 non-governmental organizations have raised deep concern over Israel’s potential military operation in Rafah, warning the US administration that no humanitarian plan for such a plan was feasible in the current crisis.

“Even in the absence of further military escalation, overcrowded conditions, the near total collapse of sanitation infrastructure, the spread of disease, and a dire scarcity of food, water, and medicine in Rafah could kill thousands more by August,” the organizations stated in a letter addressed to President Joe Biden.

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The organizations pointed out that Biden emphasized to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “that a military operation in Rafah  ‘should not proceed without a credible and executable plan’ for protecting those sheltering there.”

“We, the undersigned humanitarian, human rights, foreign policy, and other concerned organizations, want to be clear that no such credible humanitarian plan is feasible in the current crisis,” the letter, dated April 30, stated.

“An Israeli military operation into Rafah would profoundly exacerbate the already catastrophic levels of need and the humanitarian emergency for millions of civilians with nowhere left to go,” it added.

Rafah Massacre – Rising Casualties and Miraculous Fetal Rescue

The roughly more than 1.4 million displaced Palestinians in Rafah “are effectively trapped with no safe alternatives. Many of them are too young, elderly, sick, starving, injured, or disabled to move again.”

The human rights, foreign policy and other concerned organizations that have signed the letter include ActionAid USA, Amnesty International USA, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Norwegian Refugee Council and KinderUSA.

Health, Security Risks

The organizations pointed out that those physically able to leave Rafah “would be exposed to life-threatening health and security risks during their movement, while staying in the densely populated city during an attack by the Israeli military would directly endanger their lives.”

The risks they bear in the absence of an offensive “are already extreme and unacceptable; on Sunday, April 21, Israeli military strikes on Rafah killed 14 children, and were only the latest in ‘near-daily air raids’ on Rafah,” the letter stated.

The organizations also raised the situation of “extreme hunger” being experienced by “the entire population” of Gaza.

They pointed out that the latest report by the Integrated Phase Classification system found that famine is “imminent” in northern Gaza, “and USAID Administrator Samantha Power has acknowledged that reports of ongoing famine are credible.”

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Dozens of children have already died due to starvation, the organizations stressed, adding that  “If the status quo continues, the deaths attributable to starvation and disease will soon eclipse the already-staggering human toll caused by Israeli bombardment and urban warfare.”

They said “the meager amount of aid” that actually does reach civilians in Gaza primarily enters through the Rafah Governorate, which also serves as the main hub for the distribution throughout the entire enclave.

“An Israeli ground operation in Rafah would not only sever this lifeline but result in a collapse of humanitarian aid distribution throughout Gaza, with immediate and catastrophic consequences for the 2.3 million Palestinians already struggling to survive.”

Derailing Negotiations

The letter also raised concerns about a Rafah offensive spurring “escalating violence across the region,” and “derail ongoing negotiations for a ceasefire.”

“We urge your administration to use all of its influence to prevent such an operation from occurring in order to avoid further catastrophic loss of civilian lives, and urgently work toward a sustained ceasefire, dramatically increased humanitarian access, and accountability for crimes committed in this conflict,” the letter concluded.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Tuesday to invade Rafah, despite the current negotiations for a possible ceasefire deal.

Netanyahu said the Israeli army would enter Rafah “with or without a deal.”

‘Strategic Mistake’ – Israeli General Criticizes Rafah Plans as 30 Soldiers Refuse to Follow Commands

Democrats Decry Military Aid

On Wednesday, 57 Democrats also wrote to Biden imploring his administration to do more to dissuade Israel from a ground offensive into Rafah, including the withholding of weaponry “or other military support that can be used for such an assault.”

“We urge you to invoke existing law and policy to immediately withhold certain offensive military aid to the Israeli government, including aid sourced from legislation already signed into law, in order to preempt a full-scale assault on Rafah,” the letter stated.

Delays, Pressures, Israeli Government Split – What We Know about Israel’s Planned Rafah Invasion

Top UN officials, including Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, also issued warnings this week over Israel’s planned Rafah invasion.

“A military assault on Rafah would be an unbearable escalation, killing thousands more civilians & forcing hundreds of thousands to flee, Guterres said on X on Tuesday.

“It would have a devastating impact on Palestinians in Gaza, with serious repercussions on the occupied West Bank & across the wider region,” he added.

Over 34,500 Killed

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 34,596 Palestinians have been killed, and 77,816 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 11,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children.

Gaza Genocide Continues: Casualties Reported Across Various Areas

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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