The Age/Nidal al-Mughrabi and Emily Rose/10.2.2024
Netanyahu again playing with the world leaders and media – saying one thing whilst continuing to murder innocents in the genocide that he has created in Gaza – Mark
Doha/Jerusalem: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered Israel’s military on Friday to draw up a dual plan to evacuate Palestinian civilians from the crowded southern Gazan city of Rafah and defeat the last Hamas fighters there.
His office announced the move as pressure mounted on Israel over its threat to launch a ground assault on Rafah, the last refuge for hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who are trapped in the city after fleeing fighting elsewhere.
Aid groups said there would be a high Palestinian death toll if Israeli forces stormed Rafah, and warned of the growing humanitarian crisis in the city, on the border with Egypt.
“It is impossible to achieve the goal of the war without eliminating Hamas, and by leaving four Hamas battalions in Rafah. On the contrary, it is clear that intense activity in Rafah requires that civilians evacuate the areas of combat,” Netanyahu’s office said in a statement.
“Therefore, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the IDF (Israel Defence Forces) and the security establishment to submit to the Cabinet a combined plan for evacuating the population and destroying the battalions.”
The statement, issued two days after Netanyahu rejected a Hamas ceasefire proposal that also envisaged the release of hostages held by the Palestinian militant group, gave no further details.
Rafah has increasingly become the focus of Israel’s military campaign in Gaza as its forces shift their offensive southwards in response to the October 7 rampage by Hamas gunmen.