Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, has announced that military forces will be entering the city of Rafah in the Gaza Strip to eliminate the remaining Hamas battalions. Despite concerns from international governments and organizations about the humanitarian impact of such an operation, Netanyahu has emphasized that the military will continue their offensive in Rafah. The city is the last refuge for hundreds of thousands of forcibly displaced Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and it is also the main entry point for humanitarian aid to the Strip.
The United Nations estimates that half of Gaza’s population is crowded in Rafah and surrounding areas, making it a critical area for humanitarian aid. Some international allies of Israel have warned of the potential tragedy that could occur if Israeli Army enters while countries related to Palestinian cause have requested an urgent meeting at UN Security Council. However, Netanyahu has rejected these international calls and remains committed to deploying military forces in Rafah.
Netanyahu has claimed that part of their war effort is to prevent civilian casualties and that Hamas is using civilians to protect themselves. He has assured that Israeli government is working on a detailed plan to ensure safe passage of civilians out of the area but he hasn’t provided specifics on their destination yet.