News Update

News Politics

Israel-Gaza War: Netanyahu directs the armed forces to organize Rafah evacuations

Ahead of a wider attack against Hamas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has given the military orders to get ready to evacuate civilians from the southern Gazan city of Rafah.

Rafah is home to about 1.5 million Palestinians who have fled Israeli combat operations throughout the remainder of Gaza.

The UN and the EU have both voiced worry, while the US has warned Israel that an invasion of Rafah would be a “disaster”.

Aid organizations claim that it is not feasible to remove every resident of the city.

According to a statement from his office on Friday, Mr. Netanyahu instructed military and security personnel to “submit to the cabinet a combined plan for evacuating the population and destroying the battalions” of Hamas.

“Without removing Hamas and leaving four Hamas battalions in Rafah, the war’s objective cannot be accomplished. Conversely, it is evident that people must leave the conflict zones in Rafah because to the intensive activity there, the statement continued.

Mr. Netanyahu declared earlier this week that Israel will soon achieve “total victory” over Hamas and that he had given orders for troops to “get ready to operate” in Rafah.

He said this while dismissing the most recent cease-fire terms that Hamas had provided. The BBC has been informed that negotiations between Hamas and Egypt are currently on pause, and that Hamas negotiators are departing Cairo.

Due to violence in other sections of Gaza, the majority of the population of Rafah is now homeless and living in tents.

The sole route that connects Gaza and Egypt is via Rafah.

Leading EU envoy Josep Borrell posted on social media on Friday, saying: “There are worrying reports of an Israeli military assault on Rafah. It would have disastrous effects, making the already terrible humanitarian situation and the intolerable civilian casualty rate worse.”

UN Secretary General António Guterres issued a warning earlier this week about a “humanitarian nightmare” in the area. Later, Stéphane Dujarric, his spokesperson, said, “We are very concerned about the plight of people in Rafah… It seems obvious, in my opinion, that people must be safeguarded, but we also oppose forced relocation or forced mass relocation of people.

In the meantime, “a sense of growing anxiety and growing panic in Rafah” was reported by the director of UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.

According to Philippe Lazzarini, “people have absolutely no idea where to go after Rafah,” he said to reporters in Jerusalem.

“Any large-scale military operation among this population can only lead to an additional layer of endless tragedy that’s unfolding.”

According to sources from the Hamas-run health ministry, at least 15 people were killed in reported Israeli airstrikes on Gaza on Friday, including eight in Rafah. Israel refrained from commenting right away.

Mother-of-two Garda al-Kourd, who claimed to have been uprooted six times during the conflict, expressed her expectation of an Israeli attack but expressed hope that a truce would be reached beforehand.

“We shall be at an end and feel as though we are waiting to die if they reach Rafah. Living with twenty other people in a relative’s home in the city, we don’t have anywhere else to go,” she told the BBC.

The US President, Joe Biden, stated that Israel’s operations in Gaza had gone “over the top” in his remarks on Thursday, without making any specific reference to Rafah.

The Israeli military has a “special obligation as they conduct operations there or anywhere else to make sure that they’re factoring in protection for innocent civilian life,” according to US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby.

“Military operations right now would be a disaster for those people and it’s not something that we would support,” he stated.

Israeli sources claim that during the Hamas assaults on southern Israel on October 7, around 1,200 people lost their lives.

The Israeli-led conflict in retaliation has claimed the lives of around 27,900 Palestinians and injured at least 67,000 more, according to the health ministry operated by Hamas.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *