Maldives condemns Israel’s plans to invade Rafah

Palestinians sit outside their house following Israeli airstrikes in Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023. (AP Photo/Hatem Ali)

The Maldives has strongly condemned plans by Israel to launch a full-scale invasion of southern Gaza’s Rafah - the final refuge for millions of Palestinians forcibly displaced due to the ongoing military aggression in Gaza by Israeli forces.

In a statement on Monday, the Maldivian Foreign Ministry stressed that forced displacement and inhumane attacks against innocent Palestinians, and the obstruction of humanitarian assistance by the Israeli occupation forces is “against international laws and regulations, and tantamount to war crimes.”

The Maldives reaffirmed its call to the international community to take decisive action to prevent the continuation of the genocidal acts of the Israeli forces.

It also urged the global community to pressure Israeli authorities to abide by the provisional ruling issued by the International Court of Justice on January 26, ordering Israel to take measures to prevent any acts of genocide, to establish an immediate ceasefire, and ensure uninterrupted delivery of humanitarian assistance to Gaza.

The Foreign Ministry said that the government and people of Maldives remain in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Maldives also reaffirmed its commitment and support for Palestine’s legitimate right to statehood through the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian State based on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Israel is preparing to launch a major offensive on Rafah, that aid agencies fear would result in significant civilian casualties in the last relatively safe area of Gaza.

About 1.4 million Palestinians, or more than half the population of Gaza, have crowded into Rafah to escape Israeli bombardment, which has reduced much of the rest of the enclave to ruins.