oPt Protection Cluster & Global Protection Cluster Joint Statement


Civilians Lives on the Line: Risks of Further Harm and Severe Suffering with Potential Rafah Incursion

For 2.3 million people in the Gaza Strip, their lives are in the balance. They face death and injury from Israeli strikes, from explosive ordnance and collapsing buildings, with undersupplied and under threat hospitals and severe restrictions on access to life-saving services. Even accessing assistance, when allowed, has become a dangerous task. The potential incursion in Rafah and the multitude of consequences will make the already catastrophic situation impossible. 

The Rafah incursion is not inevitable, and the international community should not treat it this way. The protection of civilians in Gaza must remain an absolute priority. Our shared humanity demands it. 

  • We reiterate our call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire now. It is the only way to prevent further suffering and harm to civilians in Gaza.
  • As required under International Humanitarian Law and as ordered by the ICJ, Israel must adopt intentional strategies and actions that reduce harms to civilians.
  • Israel must stop further attacks on Rafah and other areas where civilians are seeking safety.
  • We call for the urgent increase in meaningful humanitarian access into Gaza, particularly via land crossings, and throughout the Strip.