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Abbas says only US can halt Israel’s attack on Rafah



RIYADH: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Sunday only the United States could stop Israel attacking the border city of Rafah in Gaza, adding that the assault, which he expects within days, could force much of the Palestinian population to flee the enclave.

“We call on the United States of America to ask Israel to not carry on the Rafah attack. America is the only country able to prevent Israel from committing this crime,” Abbas told a special meeting of the World Economic Forum in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

Israel, which has threatened for weeks to launch an all-out assault on the neighbourhood saying its goal is to destroy Hamas’ remaining battalions there, stepped up airstrikes on Rafah last week.

“What will happen in the coming few days is what Israel will do with attacking Rafah because all the Palestinians from Gaza are gathered there,” Abbas said, adding that only a “small strike” on Rafah would force the Palestinian population to flee the Gaza strip.

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