The Israeli army has again ordered this Saturday the Palestinian refugees residing in the east of Rafah to evacuate the area, which is why a significant expansion of its military operations in the city is expected, in addition to the displacement of another hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. . Israel began a military operation on Monday in Rafah, a refuge city in the south of the Strip for 1.4 million Gazans evacuated by the conflict, in which 34,971 people have already died, according to figures from the Gaza Ministry of Health.

“Following the targeted operations of the Israel Defense Forces in specific areas of eastern Rafah, and following the terrorist activities and shooting carried out by Hamas from the area, the IDF has asked the population of other areas of the east of Rafah to temporarily evacuate to the expanded humanitarian zone in Al-Mawasi,” reads the statement issued by Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari.

So far, according to the army, approximately 300,000 Gazans have moved to the “humanitarian zone” of Al-Mawasi, close to Khan Yunis and where hundreds of thousands of people transferred from the north of the Strip are already gathering. It is an area that the Israeli Government considers “humanitarian”, but with major deficiencies in basic services according to international organizations. Aid workers have reported “horrific” conditions in the area, according to The Guardian.

Those settled in Rafah receive news of the evacuation call through leaflets dropped from the air, as has happened on past occasions. Also, says the IDF spokesperson, with SMS messages, phone calls and broadcasts in the Arabic media. Hagari has asked Palestinians to leave their homes and head to shelters in western Gaza, warning them that they were in a “dangerous combat zone” and that Israel will attack “with force.”

Israeli forces have also stated that they will head to Jabaliya, in the northern part of Gaza, from where they are also urging the remaining population to evacuate. According to the IDF statement, the decision corresponds to “Hamas’ attempts to reassemble its terrorist infrastructure.” “This is intended to reduce harm to the civilian population and remove civilians from the combat zone, in accordance with international law,” the army points out.

Israel rejects US pressure

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected US pressure to postpone an attack on Rafah, saying Hamas is keeping many of its leaders there. The US Government concluded yesterday that it is “reasonable to assess” that Israel has violated international law in the war against Gaza. The statement comes from the report of the North American State Department, prepared at the request of President Joe Biden.

The text, presented to Congress, points out that “the results on the ground, including the high levels of civilian casualties, raise substantial doubts” about whether the Israeli army is taking the necessary measures to redirect the situation for civilians in Gaza. Still, the United States avoids claiming that Israel has violated international law.

The United Nations and other organizations have also been warning for weeks that an Israeli military assault on Rafah, which borders Egypt and is the main entry route for humanitarian aid, would leave Gaza isolated and cause a disastrous increase in civilian casualties. However, Israel has taken control of the border crossing. Since the Israeli siege of this area in the south of the Strip began, the entry of humanitarian aid and fuel for the operation of hospitals has greatly decreased, and supplies have not entered the city for five days.

Meanwhile, the student movement is organizing internationally and continues to protest against the killing of civilians in Gaza. Many groups of university students camp on campuses in the United States, France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands or Spain to demand the cessation of relations between their governments and institutions with Israel. The Spanish Universities decided this Thursday to break relations with Israeli centers that are not “committed to peace” in support “of the feelings of our campuses and the demands that are spreading from them.”


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