Is there a way out for refugees in Rafah?

Israel has stepped up its military operation in the south of the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, fears are growing that there will be a major ground offensive in Rafah, the city bordering with Egypt where over a million internally displaced people are trapped. The US has said it plans to submit a proposal to the UN Security Council for a temporary ceasefire as soon as possible. Commentators call on the political actors to be reasonable.

La Libre Belgique (BE) /

Israel and Egypt must evacuate refugees

The people holding out in Rafah need help now, La Libre Belgique demands:

“With their backs to the border fence, half the population of the Palestinian territory has no way to escape. Unless Israel makes good on its promise to evacuate them to areas further north and west of Rafah. Or Egypt opens its border, which it has so far refused to do, and takes in the inhabitants of Gaza for ‘humane’ reasons. Perhaps that’s why Cairo is secretly preparing a plan B: temporary refugee camps with basic services. Until then, the toddlers and youngsters will continue to play in front of the fences that could shatter their innocence.”

Vincent Braun
Kleine Zeitung (AT) /

Netanyahu needs to change his strategy

The Israeli prime minister has badly miscalculated, the Kleine Zeitung writes:

“Israel is a long way from its declared war goal of destroying Hamas. Twelve thousand terrorists have been hunted down so far. Even by generous estimates that’s just a third of all fighters. Hamas will not be eradicated. The power of the murderers is fuelled by violence. An attack on Rafah will only strengthen the terrorists and drive Palestinians further into the arms of the heretics. The lack of prospects makes people look towards the abyss, not seek peace. ... Israel is not to blame for the war. But it is responsible for its progression. ... If Israel wants a serious and peaceful perspective for its population, it must also offer one for the Palestinians.”

Julian Melichar