Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, announced that a “safe corridor” would be established for civilians in the city of Rafah in southern Gaza. He stated that a detailed plan for the evacuation of over one million Palestinians in the city was being prepared.
The United States has spoken out against a military operation in Rafah, stating that it would be catastrophic for the people in the area. UN Secretary-General António Guterres also warned of a humanitarian crisis and consequences for the entire region as half of Gaza Strip’s population is crammed into Rafah with nowhere else to go. Egypt is also concerned about a rush of desperate Palestinians to Sinai Peninsula if a massive military operation takes place in Rafah.
Netanyahu ordered Israeli army to prepare for an offensive on Rafah, stating that it was impossible to achieve war goal of eliminating Hamas if four Hamas battalions remain in the city. He also stated that victory was “within reach.”
The Gaza war was triggered by a massacre carried out by terrorists from Hamas and other extremist groups in southern Israel. Israel responded with air strikes and ground offensive.