The Palestinian presidency on Friday condemned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plans to extend a ground offensive into Rafah, warning it would create another "catastrophe" of forcible displacement.
Netanyahu has ordered military officials to draw up plans for "evacuating" civilians from the southern Gazan city, where half of Gaza's 2.4mn people are sheltering.
But Mahmoud Abbas's office said Palestinians "will not abandon their land and will not accept being forcibly displaced from their homeland" while Israel hunts Hamas fighters.
It called on the UN and the US to step in to prevent what it said could be a "disastrous escalation", as Israel was warned of the consequences of any move on the overcrowded city.
"The Israeli occupation's move threatens security and peace in the region and the world. This is a blatant violation of all red lines," a statement said.
"The time has come for everyone to bear their responsibility in the face of creating another catastrophe that will push the entire region into endless wars," it added.
Israel's plans for a military offensive on Rafah are "alarming", the EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borell said Friday.
"It would have catastrophic consequences worsening the already dire humanitarian situation and the unbearable civilian toll," he posted on X, formerly Twitter.
Israel launched new strikes yesterday on Rafah, after US President Joe Biden issued the strongest rebuke yet to the US ally, warning its action has been "over the top".
The US State Department said it does not support a ground offensive in Rafah, warning that, if not properly planned, such an operation in a city sheltering 1.2mn displaced Palestinians risked "disaster".
Major Israeli military action on Rafah would heap further devastation on civilians, the head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) warned Friday.
Palestinian children wait to receive food cooked by a charity kitchen amid shortages of food supplies in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on Monday. REUTERS
Displaced Palestinians, who fled their houses due to Israeli strikes, take shelter in a tent camp in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Thursday. REUTERS
Palestinian children gather at the site of an Israeli strike on a house as seen through a damaged vehicle, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Friday. REUTERS