Israeli Airstrikes Target Rafah, Residents Forced To Flee As Tensions Escalate In Gaza

Israeli military forces have commenced airstrikes in Rafah, triggering the evacuation of parts of the southern Gaza city. This city has been a refuge for over a million displaced individuals.

What Happened: On Monday, residents of Rafah were advised to move to an “expanded humanitarian zone” 20 km away, Reuters reported. This action is in response to rising fears of a full-scale assault against Hamas, as ceasefire talks in Cairo remain inconclusive.

Al-Aqsa TV, affiliated with Hamas, reported that the Israeli military targeted areas in eastern Rafah near neighborhoods that received evacuation orders. Israel has yet to comment on the situation.

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One refugee, Abu Raed, voiced his concerns to Reuters, saying, “It has been raining heavily and we don’t know where to go. I have been worried that this day may come, I have now to see where I can take my family.”

A senior Hamas official has described the evacuation order as a “dangerous escalation” with potential repercussions. He stated, “The U.S. administration, alongside the occupation, bears responsibility for this terrorism,” referring to Israel’s alliance with Washington.

Why It Matters: Aid agencies including British charity ActionAid, have cautioned that the evacuation order could trigger a severe humanitarian crisis in the densely populated coastal enclave, which has already been suffering from seven months of war. The Israeli military has characterized the evacuation as a “limited scope” operation, without providing specific reasons or potential indications of offensive action.

Israel has been threatening to launch incursions in Rafah, which it alleges is a haven for thousands of Hamas fighters and potentially dozens of hostages. This potential high-casualty operation is causing concern among Western powers and neighboring Egypt, which is attempting to mediate a new round of truce talks between Israel and Hamas. This comes after Israel offered Hamas a "generous" proposal of a 40-day sustained ceasefire in Gaza in exchange for the release of captives held in the Palestinian enclave.

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Image via Shutterstock

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Posted In: NewsPoliticsGlobalGeneralAirstrikeevacuationGazaIsrael-Hamas WarPooja RajkumariRafah
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