IRELAND’S Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez have written a joint letter to the president of the European Commission expressing concern over the worsening situation in Gaza.

The pair have also called for an urgent review into whether or not Israel is complying with its human rights obligations under the EU/Israel Association Agreement, RTE reports.

The news comes after South Africa also lodged an “urgent request” with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to consider whether Israel’s military operations targeting Rafah constitute a breach of the provisional orders the court handed down in the genocide case last month.

The National: Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu chaired a meeting of his cabinet on Sunday (Ohad Zwigenberg/AP)

Around 1.4 million Palestinians have fled to Rafah to escape fighting with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (above) vowing to press on until “total victory”.

Varadkar and Sanchez have asked the commission to propose appropriate measures to be taken by the EU if it considers Israel is in breach of the agreement.

The letter states the review should be done due to the risk of “an even greater humanitarian catastrophe posed by the imminent threat of Israeli military operations in Rafah”.

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The pair have also said that Israel’s actions may be in breach of the human rights and democratic principles elements which form part of the agreement.

It states: “We are deeply concerned at the deteriorating situation in Israel and Gaza, especially the impact the ongoing conflict is having on innocent Palestinians, especially children and women.

“The expanded Israeli military operation in the Rafah area poses a grave and imminent threat that the international community must urgently confront.”

It also added that the pair have “repeatedly expressed our total condemnation of Hamas’ indiscriminate terrorist attacks of October 7” and called for the immediate release of any remaining hostages.

The letter also directly recalled the provisional measures adopted by the ICJ which require Israel to take immediate and effective measures to enable the provision of aid and basic services.

UNWRA, the United Nations agency tasked with helping Palestinian refugees, also must be allowed to continue its vital work, the letter said while it also called for EU support to the agency to be maintained.

Speaking at the end of January, Humza Yousaf confirmed the Scottish Government has not “paused” funding for the agency despite media reports suggesting otherwise.