AA News

Israel committed new war crime on Palestinian lands by launching ground attack on Rafah: Turkish vice president

Israel has committed a new war crime on Palestinian lands by launching a ground attack on Rafah, said Türkiye’s vice president on Tuesday.

“Israel, the day after Hamas approved the cease-fire proposal of Qatar and Egypt, carried out a ground attack on Rafah, adding yet another war crime to its record in Palestinian territories since Oct. 7,” said Cevdet Yilmaz on X.

He noted that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his partners who committed these crimes against humanity and those who remain silent will be held accountable eventually for their actions.

Türkiye will persist in its efforts to hold the Israeli administration accountable for the crimes they have committed, he added.

“Under the leadership of our President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, we will continue to make every effort to ensure that the Israeli government, which disregards international law and refuses to abide by any rules, is held accountable for all the crimes it commits and receives the punishments it deserves,” he stressed.

The Israeli army early on Tuesday said its forces have seized control of the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.

Following the Palestinian Hamas group’s announcement of accepting a Qatari-Egyptian proposal for a cease-fire in Gaza, Israel’s War Cabinet decided to push ahead with an operation in Rafah.

The Israeli army issued immediate evacuation orders early Monday for Palestinians in the eastern neighborhoods of Rafah and called on them to move to the town of al-Mawasi in southern Gaza.

Rafah is home to more than 1.5 million displaced Palestinians who have taken refuge from the war launched by Israel following the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas that killed nearly 1,200 people.

Since then, the Israeli onslaught has killed more than 34,700 Palestinians, mostly women and children, besides causing a humanitarian catastrophe.

Nearly seven months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins, pushing 85% of the enclave’s population into internal displacement amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water, and medicine, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January said it is “plausible” that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza and ordered Tel Aviv to stop such acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians there.