Israel instructs Palestinians to evacuate parts of Rafah as ground offensive looms



The Israel Defense Forces has begun instructing Palestinians to evacuate parts of Rafah as the Jewish state prepares for a ground offensive in the southern Gazan city.

Civilians were directed by the IDF on Monday to flee from the eastern part of Rafah to nearby Muwasi, which has field hospitals, tents and increased amounts of food, water, medication and other supplies as more aid flows into the humanitarian area.

The evacuation announcement came seven months into the bloody conflict between Israel and Hamas that was sparked by the terrorist group’s Oct. 7, 2023 surprise attack.

Israel has maintained that thousands of Hamas fighters are in Rafah and it can’t eradicate the terror group without moving in on the city.

Palestinians search through the rubble of a house after an Israeli air strike hit the center of Rafah on May 5, 2024. AFP via Getty Images

The IDF said calls to temporarily pause travel to the humanitarian area will be delivered through posters, text messages, phone calls and broadcasts in Arabic.

“The IDF will continue pursuing Hamas everywhere in Gaza until all the hostages that they’re holding in captivity are back home,” the Israeli army said in a social media post, in reference to the more than 100 Israelis still held in the Palestinian enclave.

Despite international pressure not to invade Rafah, including from the US, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has remained steadfast that the IDF would launch an attack.

Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost city that borders Egypt, has been a safe haven for more than a million Palestinian refugees as most of the fighting has been focused on northern parts of the Gaza Strip.

The IDF has instructed Palestinians to evacuate parts of Rafah as an attack on the southern Gaza city looms. ZUMAPRESS.com
Palestinians transport an injured man who was pulled from the rubble of a house hit by an Israeli strike on May 5, 2024. AFP via Getty Images

The evacuation directive was given a day after cease-fire talks ended in Cairo with claims from Israeli officials that Hamas wasn’t serious about a deal.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant also warned of a “a powerful operation in the very near future in Rafah and other places across all of Gaza” after Hamas attacked Israel’s main crossing point for delivering humanitarian aid, leaving three soldiers dead.

The White House has warned Israel it may face consequences if it goes into Rafah without any serious plan in place to protect civilians.

“Absent such a plan, we can’t support a major military operation going into Rafah because the damage it would do is beyond what’s acceptable,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said late Friday at the Sedona Forum in Arizona.

With Post wires

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