The foreign ministers of 13 countries have warned Israel in a letter against launching a comprehensive military offensive in the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, according to a media report.

The German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reported in its Friday edition that the signatories also demanded increased aid for the Palestinian population.

All member states of the Group of Seven (G7) major industrialized nations signed the four-page letter dated Wednesday, with the exception of the United States.

In the letter to Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz, the ministers affirmed Israel’s right to self-defense and condemned the terrorist attacks by Hamas and other Islamist groups on October 7.

However, they urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to take all necessary steps to alleviate the severe and worsening humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung report, the ministers also called on Israel to open all border crossings into the Gaza Strip for aid supplies, including the Rafah crossing with Egypt.

Just over a week ago, Israel’s army advanced from the east to Rafah despite strong international warnings. Since then, the army has also controlled the Palestinian part of the Gaza border crossing to Egypt.

The crucial border crossing has since been closed to humanitarian aid, with Israel and Egypt blaming each other for the closure.

The letter was signed by the foreign ministers of G7 countries Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and Canada, as well as their counterparts from Australia, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Korea, and Sweden.

On Thursday, Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant announced the deployment of additional troops to Rafah. The Israeli military reported that hundreds of targets had already been hit there and several tunnels destroyed.

According to UN figures, around 600,000 people have already fled the city on the border with Egypt.