Israeli premier orders army to submit plan for ground offensive in Rafah

Netanyahu ordered army, security establishment to submit to Cabinet plan to evacuate population in Rafah, defeat Hamas battalions there, his office says

10:37 - 10/02/2024 Cumartesi
File photo
File photo

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday ordered the army to submit a military plan to evacuate civilians from Rafah and to defeat Hamas battalions there.

“It is impossible to achieve the goal of the war of eliminating Hamas by leaving four Hamas battalions in Rafah,” stated Netanyahu's office on X.

“On the contrary, it is clear that intense activity in Rafah requires that civilians evacuate the areas of combat,” it said.

“Therefore, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the IDF and the security establishment to submit to the Cabinet a combined plan for evacuating the population and destroying the battalions,” the office added.

The Israeli Prime Minister's Office did not specify the timeframe for developing this plan.

International estimates indicate the presence of between 1.2 million-1.4 million Palestinians in Rafah after the Israeli army forced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in northern the Gaza Strip to evacuate to the south.

On Thursday, the US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that “any major military operation in Rafah at this time, under these circumstances, with more than a million—probably more like a million and a half—Palestinians who are seeking refuge and have been seeking refuge in Rafah without due consideration for their safety would be a disaster, and we would not support it.”

Since the start of the ground offensive launched by Israel on the Gaza Strip on Oct. 27, it has been asking residents to move from the north and center of the strip to the south, claiming that these are safe areas, but they have suffered bombings.

Until Friday, the ground offensive reached Khan Younis and has not been extended to Rafah, although the Israeli army has carried out air raids and extensive artillery shelling on sites in Rafah since the start of the war on Oct. 7.

#Gaza Strip
#Benjamin Netanyahu
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