Peace and Security

Palestinians Step Up UN Membership Bid Amid Fears of Rafah Invasion Concerns

The Security Council prepared to convene on Monday to consider a Palestinian request for United Nations membership as humanitarians expressed deep concerns about Israel’s planned invasion of Rafah and the desperate lack of aid reaching Gaza.

At the same time, a full six months since Hamas-led terror attacks in Israel prompted an unprecedented Israeli military response, former residents of Khan Younis just north of Rafah are already returning to the shattered city – a move that aid teams cautioned against, given the absence of stockpiled supplies.

“The planning is underway for a Rafah incursion, which could move up to 800,000 people,” said Jamie McGoldrick, the current Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, in an exclusive interview with UN News.

“We really struggle to pre-position enough material, non-food items, shelter, material and water…we really don’t have the capacity and resources and ability right now. And we’re really struggling to get prepared.”


The veteran aid official reiterated that 500 trucks a day need to enter Gaza where food insecurity experts warned that famine could happen “anytime”. 

To boost the level of humanitarian assistance reaching the enclave, the UN has supported calls for the Israeli port of Ashdod to reopen just north of Gaza, and for more relief to be given access via Jordan. 

Back in New York at UN Headquarters, the Security Council was set to meet to discuss the Palestinian membership request in closed consultations initially and then in an open format.

Delegates at the 15-member body will consider the Palestinians’ 2011 application after a written request last week from the Palestinian Authority’s Foreign Minister and Permanent Representative to the UN in New York, Riyad Mansour.

Other major developments

Meanwhile, the UN’s top court, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), on Monday began proceedings brought by Nicaragua to halt Germany’s military aid to Israel.

For Nicaragua, Carlos José Argüello Gómez alleged that Germany was “failing to honour its own obligation to prevent genocide or to ensure respect of international humanitarian law”. 

The case follows South Africa’s petition to the ICJ in December to order Israel as a signatory of the Genocide Convention to protect Palestinians in Gaza, where more than 33,000 mainly women and children have been reported killed since 7 October.

Ten days ago, the ICJ issued new “provisional measures” to Israel as the humanitarian situation in bombarded and besieged Gaza continued to worsen.

In other developments, negotiators seeking a ceasefire in Gaza reportedly left Cairo on Monday after weekend negotiations ended. Representatives included individuals from Israel and Hamas, who arrived in the Egyptian capital on Sunday to resume talks.

Back in Gaza, a UN mission that reached Al-Shifa hospital in northern Gaza City after a weeks-long Israeli offensive to root out Palestinian fighters revealed “an empty shell” and shallow graves, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday.

The majority of equipment is unusable or reduced to ashes,” including the hospital’s emergency department, surgical and maternity ward.


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  1. As someone who closely follows humanitarian crises, it’s heartbreaking to see the lack of aid reaching Gaza amid fears of an invasion. The international community must act swiftly to prevent a catastrophe in Rafah and address the urgent needs of the people in Gaza. The current situation is dire, and we cannot afford to delay essential aid any longer.

  2. As a longtime supporter of humanitarian efforts, it’s troubling to see the lack of aid reaching Gaza amid fears of an impending invasion in Rafah. The urgency to address the potential crisis cannot be overstated.

  3. As an experienced aid worker, I believe the escalation of the conflict in Rafah is deeply concerning. The lack of humanitarian aid reaching Gaza is alarming, and the potential for an invasion only exacerbates the dire situation. It is crucial that the international community takes immediate action to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe.

  4. As a humanitarian worker myself, I am deeply concerned about the situation in Gaza. It is crucial that more aid reaches the people in need before the potential invasion of Rafah. The world cannot stand by and watch a humanitarian crisis unfold without taking action.

  5. Do you think the Security Council will approve Palestinian membership at the UN considering the situation in Rafah and Gaza?

    1. While the situation in Rafah and Gaza is undoubtedly dire, it remains uncertain whether the Security Council will approve Palestinian membership at the UN. The international community must act swiftly to address the urgent humanitarian needs in the region before it’s too late.

  6. It’s disheartening to see the ongoing struggles in Gaza, with the looming threat of a potential Rafah invasion exacerbating the already desperate humanitarian situation. The lack of aid reaching Gaza is deeply concerning, and it’s crucial for international actors to step up and support the people in need.

  7. As a humanitarian aid worker, I am deeply concerned about the escalating tensions in Gaza and the lack of resources available to support the vulnerable population. It is imperative that international aid organizations are able to pre-position enough supplies to meet the needs of the people in Gaza, especially given the potential for a large-scale incursion in Rafah. The international community must act swiftly to prevent a humanitarian crisis from unfolding in the region.

  8. Despite the growing concerns about the impending Rafah invasion and lack of aid, it is imperative that swift action is taken to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The urgency of the situation cannot be overstated, and immediate steps must be taken to ensure the safety and well-being of the people in the region. Famine looming as a possibility only adds to the gravity of the situation, emphasizing the critical need for increased humanitarian assistance entering Gaza without delay.

  9. Are there any updates on the Security Council’s decision regarding the Palestinian request for UN membership? What measures are being taken to ensure the urgent aid reaches Gaza amid the fears of an invasion?

    1. As per the latest reports, the Security Council is actively reviewing the Palestinian request for UN membership, showing a heightened sense of urgency in light of the looming invasion fears. Efforts are being intensified to ensure that crucial aid reaches Gaza promptly amidst the escalating concerns. Stay tuned for more updates.

  10. As an experienced aid worker in conflict zones, I agree that the situation in Gaza is dire and the lack of aid reaching the region is alarming. The planned invasion of Rafah by Israel only adds to the urgency of increasing humanitarian assistance to prevent a potential humanitarian catastrophe.

  11. Is it possible for the United Nations to intervene and prevent the potential Rafah invasion and ensure the aid reaches Gaza promptly?

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