A CHARITY has called on the Israeli government to half its offensive on Rafah as it warned “nowhere is safe” in the city.

Dozens are believed to have been killed following the latest round of air strikes with Israel’s military saying it had struck a number of “terror targets” in the Shaboura district.

It also said it had rescued two captives taken by Hamas in an overnight operation in Rafah – a moment which was welcomed by SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn although one he conceded was an “exception rather than the rule”.

In a statement released on Twitter/X, the general director of charity Doctors Without Borders Meinie Nicolai said that Israel’s “declared ground offensive on Rafah would be catastrophic and must not proceed”.

Israel is preparing to launch a major ground offensive that aid agencies fear would result in significant civilian casualties.

Hamas has already warned that a ground assault would “blow up” negotiations to release the group’s remaining captives in Gaza.

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Around 1.4 million Palestinians, more than half of the population of Gaza, have crowded into Rafah to escape Israeli bombardment.

Nicolai added: “Nowhere in Gaza is safe, and repeated forced displacements have pushed people to Rafah, where they are trapped in a tiny patch of land and have no options.

“Since October 7 2023, our medical teams and patients have been forced to evacuate nine different healthcare facilities in the Gaza Strip, after coming under fire from tanks, artillery, fighter jets, snipers and ground troops, or being subject to an evacuation order.

“Medical staff & patients have been arrested, abused & killed. All this has taken place in full view of world leaders.

“It’s now near impossible to work in Gaza, all our attempts to provide lifesaving care to Palestinians have been diminished by Israel’s conduct of hostilities.

“The needs are overwhelming and the situation requires a safe humanitarian response at a much larger scale.

“We call on the government of Israel to immediately halt this offensive & to all supporting governments, including the United States, to take concrete action to bring about a complete & sustained ceasefire. Political rhetoric is not enough.”

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The strikes on Rafah come despite US president Joe Biden’s warning not to launch an offensive without a “credible and executable plan” to ensure the safety of people sheltering in the city.

Netanyahu has promised “safe passage” for Palestinians in Rafah although there is a lack of clarity around evacuation plans with Egypt fearing a mass of influx of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees who may never be allowed to return.