The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned on Tuesday that any planned Israeli military offensives against the densely populated Rafah governorate in the Gaza Strip could amount to “war crimes.”
“We can make (it) clear… under international humanitarian law, indiscriminate bombing of densely populated areas may amount to war crimes,” OCHA spokesperson Jens Laerke told journalists in Geneva.
The remarks come as OCHA reported an “increase in strikes” in Rafah on Sunday and Monday, following Israel’s recent announcements of plans for a ground invasion of the overcrowded governorate.
Thousands of Gazans continue to “flood” into Rafah, including many who have fled intense fighting in Khan Younus as the Israeli military expands ground operations towards the south of the enclave.
According to OCHA, due to the continued exodus of Gazans to the south of the Strip, Rafah’s population has increased by “fivefold” to over 1.1 million people since the conflict between Israel and Hamas began on Oct. 7.