Tuesday April 16, 2024

Finland, 25 EU countries ask Israel not to take military action in Rafah

Published : 21 Feb 2024, 01:57

  DF Report
People conduct rescue work after an Israeli airstrike in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, on Feb. 19, 2024. Photo: Xinhua.

Finland together with 25 member states of the European Union expressed very concerned about the humanitarian situation in Gaza and the suffering of the hostages as well as the Israeli government’s plans for a possible ground operation in Rafah.

The EU countries also emphasised the need to respect order of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in this regard issued on January 26, said the Ministry for Foreign Affairs on Tuesday.

“Finland with 25 EU Member States asks Israel not to take military action in Rafah that would worsen the situation and stress the need to respect International Humanitarian Law and the 26 January order of the ICJ,” the ministry wrote in a post in its social media platform X on Tuesday, referring to a statement of the European Union issued on Monday.

In the statement, Foreign Ministers of 26 Member States of the European Union expressed very concerned about the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

It Foreign Ministers pointed out the Israeli government’s plans for a possible ground operation in Rafah, where well over a million Palestinians are currently sheltering from the fighting.

“We recognise the right of Israel to defend itself in line with international law and international humanitarian law. We ask the Israeli Government not to take military action in Rafah that would worsen an already catastrophic humanitarian situation and prevent the urgently needed provision of basic services and humanitarian assistance,” said the Foreign Ministers in the statement.

They also reiterated the importance of ensuring the protection of all civilians at all times in line with International Humanitarian Law and to respect the 26 January order of the International Court of Justice, which is legally binding.

This requires an immediate humanitarian pause that would lead to a sustainable ceasefire, the unconditional release of all hostages and the provision of humanitarian assistance, the statement added.