Israel’s War Cabinet mulls evacuation plan for Rafah residents

The Israeli War Cabinet discussed a plan to evacuate residents of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip in preparation to expand the ground offensive.

The army “presented the War Cabinet with a plan for evacuating the population from the areas of fighting in the Gaza Strip, and with the upcoming operational plan,” Israeli Prime Minister office said Monday in a statement on X.

The statement did not specify the areas, but the Israeli newspaper Times of Israel said the discussion was about Rafah.

“In addition, the plan for providing humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip in a manner that will prevent the looting that has occurred in the northern Strip and other areas was approved,” the statement added, without providing further details.

Israel is planning to expand the ground operation to Rafah, home of 1.4 million Palestinians, amid international warnings about the consequences of such a move.

Israel has launched a deadly offensive on the Gaza Strip since an Oct. 7 cross-border incursion by the Palestinian group Hamas, killing more than 29,690 people and causing mass destruction and shortages of necessities, while nearly 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed.

The Israeli war on Gaza has pushed 85% of the territory’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

Hostilities have continued unabated, however, and aid deliveries remain woefully insufficient to address the humanitarian catastrophe.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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