Russia raises concerns of ‘ethnic cleansing’ risk for Palestinians in Gaza over Israeli plans for Rafah

Russia raises concerns of ‘ethnic cleansing’ risk for Palestinians in Gaza over Israeli plans for Rafah
Russia raises concerns of ‘ethnic cleansing’ risk for Palestinians in Gaza over Israeli plans for Rafah

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Russia stated yesterday that Israel’s plans for a ground invasion in the city of Rafah, southern Gaza Strip could lead to ‘ethnic cleansing’ of the Palestinians. — AFP pic

MOSCOW, March 3 — Russia stated yesterday that Israel’s plans for a ground invasion in the city of Rafah, southern Gaza Strip could lead to “ethnic cleansing” of the Palestinians.

Speaking at a news conference on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Turkiye, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, “A real tragedy is taking place in Gaza, which has no end in sight.”

Lavrov said Moscow is concerned about Israeli plans to carry out a military operation in Rafah, where two-thirds of the Gazans are seeking shelter from violence, Anadolu Agency (AA) reported.

“If the operation of Rafah begins, a huge number of refugees will leave for Egypt, and the Egyptians have repeatedly stated that this is unacceptable. This will be ethnic cleansing in fact,” he said.

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“The Israeli leadership has stated that it is not about creating a Palestinian state, but about ensuring the security of the Jewish state of Israel. This is fully contrary to all UN decisions, it is contrary to common sense, and it is contrary to justice.

“This means that Palestinians can be thrown out of the lands where their ancestors lived and all their rights are despised,” Lavrov added.

The diplomat also urged to pay more attention to the situation in the West Bank, where Israeli army raids against Palestinians have become more frequent.

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Israel launched a military offensive on the Gaza Strip on October 7, 2023, in which at least 30,320 Palestinians have since been killed and 71,533 others injured besides mass destruction, displacement and shortages of necessities.

Israel has also imposed a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip, leaving its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, on the verge of starvation. — Bernama

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