Thursday 9 May 2024 - 22:27

Iran: Israel Seeks to Sabotage Ceasefire Negotiations by Closing of Rafah Crossing

Story Code : 1134007
Iran: Israel Seeks to Sabotage Ceasefire Negotiations by Closing of Rafah Crossing
During a telephone conversation with United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Thursday, Iran's diplomat warned that the continuation of Israel's acts of terror and genocide in the Southern Gaza city of Rafah will lead to another human disaster in West Asia.

"In continuation of the 'policy of terror and genocide', the Zionist regime is now trying to cause another human disaster in the region by closing the Rafah and Karem Abu Salim border crossings," Amir Abdollahian said.

The minister added the regime aims to render international attempts to stop the war fruitless.

He emphasized that the administration of President Joe Biden should exert pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept an Egyptian-Qatari ceasefire proposal.

"Otherwise, if the US shows leniency towards the Israeli regime in committing new crimes in Rafah, the consequences will be severe for the supporters of the war," Amir Abdollahian warned.

"Now it is the White House that must choose between showing the will to put pressure on the Israeli regime to stop the war and dragging the region into a new and different level of crisis and tension," he pointed out.

Amir Abdollahian stated Iran will continue its efforts to help establish lasting stability and security in the region and end Israel's war crimes in the blockaded territory.

He supported a move by the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas to accept the proposed ceasefire plan, calling on the UN to play a more active role in stopping the war and to hold a session in the presence of influential countries to discuss possible ways to help Palestine.

On Monday night, Hamas announced it has approved a proposal for a ceasefire in the seven-month Gaza war put forward by mediators Qatar and Egypt. Israel has stressed that it does not agree to the proposal and decided to push ahead with its plan to invade Rafah. The Palestinian group stated the ball is now in the Israeli court.

Hamas’s statement was released after the regime struck several sites in the city of Rafah, where more than 1.5 million Palestinians are sheltering, killing and wounding dozens of people. 

Israel has also ordered tens of thousands of people to evacuate. The UN’s main relief agency in Gaza (UNRWA) estimated on Thursday that nearly 80,000 people have fled Rafah since Monday as an Israeli offensive on the densely-populated city expands.

The Israeli military also announced on Tuesday that it had seized “operational control” of the Gaza side of the border post, which links the besieged enclave with Egypt. The closure of the crucial passage and positioning of tanks in the centre of Rafah is seen as a demonstration of Israel’s determination to press on with a long-feared all-out military operation against the Southern city despite ongoing truce talks.

Israel’s seizure of the key crossing has also raised concerns that already scarce supplies will be further depleted and lead to a “catastrophic” disaster. A spokesperson for the enclave's Crossings Authority stated on Thursday the vital passage is closed for a fourth consecutive day.

At least 34,900 people, mostly women and children, have been killed and more than 78,500 wounded in Israel’s military onslaught against Gaza since October 2023, according to Palestinian authorities.

Guterres, for his part, commended Iran's wise measures and positions on establishing peace in the region.

He said the UN has always pursued a firm stance on the importance of establishing a ceasefire and ending the war in Gaza as soon as possible.

He added that the UN will continue to exert pressure on Israel and hold constant consultations with the United States and other influential countries to establish an immediate ceasefire and end the war in Gaza and the region.

The UN chief reiterated that the world body will continue its endeavours to open the Rafah and other border crossings as soon as possible.