By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
GAZA/JERUSALEM (Worthy News) – Israel’s prime minister has ordered the Israeli military to come up with a plan for civilians sheltering in Gaza’s southern city of Rafa to evacuate, his office said on Friday.
Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement cleared the way for an expected offensive into the crowded area.
“Any forceful action in Rafah would require the evacuation of the civilian population from combat zones,” the prime minister’s office noticed, without saying what those zones would cover.
The planned evacuation comes despite the U.S. warning Israel this week that an unplanned invasion of Rafah would be a “disaster.”
Aid groups say it is not possible to evacuate everyone from the city. They point out that about 1.5 million Palestinians are in Rafah seeking refuge from Israeli combat operations in the rest of Gaza.
However, “It is impossible to achieve the goal of the war without eliminating Hamas and by leaving four Hamas battalions in Rafah,” Netanyahu’s office stressed.
“On the contrary, it is clear that intense activity in Rafah requires that civilians evacuate the areas of combat,” the statement added.
Netanyahu earlier told military and security officials to “submit to the cabinet a combined plan for evacuating the population and destroying the battalions” of Hamas, officials recalled.
Earlier this week, Netanyahu said he had ordered troops to “prepare to operate” in Rafah and that “total victory” by Israel over Hamas was just months away.
Hamas has claimed responsibility for the worst recorded atrocity against Jews since the Holocaust, also known as Shoah. On October 7, Hamas fighters killed some 1,200 people and took up to 250 people as hostages.
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