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We’ll talk about Alia Bhatt’s 23-foot-long saree train when Gaza is free.

In the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, the Israeli military has taken a significant step by seizing control of the Rafah border crossing, a vital lifeline for the Gaza Strip.

source: Al Jazeera

This move comes amidst escalating tensions and a delicate balance of diplomatic negotiations for a ceasefire.

The Rafah border, the sole crossing not under Israeli control, has served as a pivotal link to the outside world for Palestinians in Gaza.

Situated on the border between Gaza and Egypt, it has facilitated the delivery of essential aid and the evacuation of patients from an unbelievably strained healthcare system.

source: New Straits Times

The Israeli military’s operation in Rafah signals a strategic shift and further highlights the severity of the situation.

The Israeli military’s 401st Brigade entered the Rafah crossing, asserting control over the Palestinian side. This operation follows a rejected ceasefire proposal, initiated by Hamas.

The United Nations, along with other international organisations, has warned of catastrophic consequences for the civilian population in Gaza.

source: New Straits Times

The closure of the Rafah crossing threatens to exacerbate an already dire humanitarian crisis, with aid deliveries halted and the prospect of famine looming.

The Israeli offensive has sparked international condemnation and calls for restraint. World leaders, including those from Jordan and China, have urged Israel to reconsider its actions and prioritise civilian safety.

Diplomatic efforts, including ceasefire negotiations mediated by Egypt and Qatar, are ongoing.

However, significant gaps remain between the demands of the parties involved.

In the initial stages of the conflict, Egypt’s administration momentarily urged public demonstrations against coerced displacement and stood in solidarity with the Palestinian cause.

However, Egypt is wary of being drawn into the conflict if militant groups breach its porous borders, potentially triggering Israeli strikes and subsequent Egyptian retaliation.

source: BBC

President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi suggested at the time that Israel might have been attempting to compel Palestinians into seeking refuge within Egypt by restricting essential supplies such as food, medicine, fuel, water, and other necessities in the Palestinian territories.

Meanwhile, the United States, a key ally of Israel, has expressed concerns over the escalation of violence and its potential humanitarian impact. President Joe Biden has warned against a full-scale invasion of Rafah, emphasising the need to avoid further civilian casualties.

The U.S. has also paused a shipment of bombs to Israel amid fears of an imminent offensive.

However, John Kirby, spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, clarified that the operation along the Gaza-Egypt border in eastern Rafah wasn’t considered a full-scale Israeli invasion, as cautioned by Biden.

Israel has instead characterised it as a limited-scale, short-duration effort targeting Hamas arms smuggling.

source: Al Jazeera

The military escalation in Rafah has resulted in even more civilian casualties and forced displacement. Palestinian families are fleeing the area, grappling with uncertainty and fear amid the intensified conflict.

The toll on innocent lives continues, amidst the urgency of seeking a resolution to the crisis.

source: Al Jazeera

On Monday, a group of pro-Palestinian demonstrators held a protest outside the Met Gala venue in New York, condemning U.S. financial aid and backing for Israel’s actions in Gaza.

Several individuals were arrested during the event.

While Hamas has accepted a ceasefire proposal, Israel remains reluctant, citing concerns over its security demands.

source: New Straits Times

The fate of the ceasefire negotiations hangs in the balance, with both sides unwilling to compromise on their core objectives, while international mediators and diplomatic efforts attempt to bridge the divide and achieve a lasting ceasefire agreement.

The urgent need for humanitarian intervention and diplomatic resolution has become increasingly apparent.

According to AP News, CIA chief William Burns is slated to participate in further discussions in Cairo, involving representatives from Israel, Egypt, and Qatar. Hamas also dispatched a delegation to Cairo for separate talks with Arab mediators.

Follow live updates here.

Malaysia remains committed to its emergency humanitarian aid efforts for Gaza.

Just yesterday, Malaysia bolstered its support by adding 10 more containers of essential goods to the ongoing mission, bringing the total number of containers dispatched to 110.


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