Netanyahu orders Army to prepare Rafah “evacuation”

The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, announced this Friday that he has instructed the Army to begin preparing the evacuation of the city of Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip and considered the last refuge of the population of the Palestinian enclave forcibly displaced by the Israeli bombing campaign in response to the attack by Palestinian militias on October 7.

In a statement published by his office, the Israeli prime minister considers the defeat of the Palestinian Hamas movement incompatible without ending the forces it maintains stationed in this town and its surroundings.

“It is impossible to achieve the war objective of eliminating Hamas and, at the same time, leaving four Hamas battalions in Rafah. It is clear that a massive operation in Rafah requires the evacuation of the civilian population from the combat zones,” in reference to an area where there are at least 1.3 million people under shelter.

“Therefore,” the statement concludes, Prime Minister Netanyahu “has ordered the Army and the security establishment to present to the war cabinet a combined plan for the evacuation of the population and the destruction of these battalions.”

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