The Israeli army ordered Palestinians to evacuate several areas in Rafah


From Nidal Al-Mughrabi and Metal Angel

CAIRO/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel on Saturday asked Palestinians in other parts of Rafah city in the southern Gaza Strip to vacate their sites and move to the so-called expanded humanitarian zone in al-Mawazi. Moving forward with plans to launch a ground assault on Rafah.

The Israeli army asked residents and displaced people in Jabalia in northern Gaza to vacate their places, saying it would return to operations there after observing that the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) was trying to regain control of the area.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said at least 37 Palestinians, 24 of them from the central Gaza Strip, were killed in overnight airstrikes across the region, including Rafah, which borders Egypt. The ministry did not distinguish between the number of civilians and militants killed.

Palestinian woman Gidam al-Khatib told Reuters, “They threw leaflets at us and they took refuge there from Rafah to al-Jawaida, what happened?” body parts. There is no place where we are safe. “Nowhere in Gaza is safe.”

He pointed out that he lost at least 10 of his relatives in an airstrike on his family home on Saturday.

Al-Jawaida is a small town in the heart of the Gaza Strip, filled with thousands of displaced people from different parts of the area.

The Israeli military said its planes bombed dozens of targets across the Gaza Strip on Friday, while ground forces killed about 30 militants in the Zaytoun neighborhood.

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Doctors said an Israeli airstrike killed at least seven people, all from the same family, in a house in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip.

Residents reported Israeli tanks stationed in the city.

In Rafah, residents told Reuters that the new evacuation orders issued by the army included areas in the city center, leaving no doubt that Israel wanted to expand its ground offensive there. The Ministry of Health reported 16 deaths in Rafah.

“The situation is very difficult and all the people are leaving their homes in terrible condition,” said Khaled (35), who lives in the al-Shaboura neighborhood where the new evacuation orders were issued.

Israel’s military says it is continuing its offensive against Hamas militants in East Rafah and the Palestinian Rafah crossing.

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