UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is expected to arrive in Egypt on Saturday at the border with the Gaza Strip, amid growing concerns about the humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territory and a forthcoming Israeli ground offensive in the overcrowded town of Rafah.

After five and a half months of war between Israel and the Islamist Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip, which is on the brink of famine, Guterres “is expected to repeat his calls for a humanitarian ceasefire” in Gaza, according to his deputy spokesman Farhan Haq.

Clashes in the besieged territory continue unabated, particularly in and around al-Shifa hospital in northern Gaza City, where the Israeli army claimed on Saturday to have killed more than 170 Palestinian fighters and arrested hundreds of suspects since the beginning of the week.

The UN chief is due to meet aid workers on the “Egyptian side” of Rafah, the Gaza town next to the border where 1.5 million Palestinians are crowded, raising fears for the population in the event of a ground operation there.

With AFP