• Rafah

  • Tuesday, May 7, 2024 at 12:13 PM
    Last Update : Sunday, May 12, 2024 at 11:56 AM

Palestinians Ordered to Flee Rafah Outskirts After Israeli Army Announces New Operation

(Arab World Press) - Thousands of people have evacuated the outskirts of the Palestinian city of Rafah on Monday towards areas in central Gaza according to eyewitnesses, after the Israeli army announced plans to launch a military operation in the area.

Witnesses told the Arab World Press (AWP) that a state of confusion prevailed among displaced people after the sudden Israeli announcement, which came only a day after positive reports of progress on a ceasefire and prisoner exchange deal between Hamas and Israel.

One eyewitness said Israeli aircraft dropped leaflets over Rafah urging residents to leave immediately in the direction of the so-called ‘expanded humanitarian zone in al-Mawasi.’

A displaced Palestinian woman cried out in anger after hearing about the leaflet, asking, “Where should we go? Where should these young children go? We are tired. We need a solution. We were displaced from Khan Younis to Rafah and now they are instructing us to leave Rafah. Where to? Death is better for us than this life. This is unjust! We were soaked in rainwater during the night and slept on water on the ground.”

A displaced man, Abdullah Faisal, also said people did not have a clue where they should go after being displaced multiple times.

“We are originally from Khan Younis. We were displaced to Rafah. They are now telling us to go to the Mawasi area, but we don’t know where we should go,” he added.

The leaflets included a threat that the army is about to “operate with extreme force against terrorist organizations in the areas where you currently reside – as it has done so far. Anyone in the area puts themselves and their families in danger.”

The Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation (IPBC) said the army will work at the present stage on evacuating about 100,000 Palestinians from eastern Rafah towards what it called an ‘expanded humanitarian area.’

The decision was taken after a late-night meeting of the Israeli war council on Sunday, the IPBC said.

It added that, “Israel started as of Monday morning to evacuate civilians from the city’s eastern areas to the humanitarian zone that has field hospitals, tents, and increased amounts of food, water and medicines as well as other provisions.”

The IPBC noted that any plan for a large-scale operation in the city to destroy the Hamas battalion includes a long-term mass evacuation of civilians, but at this stage, according to the war council’s decision, there will be a temporary and limited evacuation of about 100,000 people to prepare for activity in the city.