Israel Plans To Kick Out Population Of Southern Gaza Town, But Where Will They Go Now Asks UN.

File photo. The border crossing from Egypt to Rafah in the south of the Gaza strip.
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said today that  the Israeli military has “presented the War Cabinet with a plan for evacuating the population from areas of fighting in the Gaza Strip, and with the upcoming operational plan.”

This statement followed a pledge by Netanyahu to push ahead with a ground invasion in the southern Gaza town of Rafah, where more than half of Gaza’s population has sought shelter from the war. Rafah is where the border crossing into Egypt is located.

Monday’s statement did not give any details about where all the Palestinians currently in Rafah would be able to go.

Rafah is located along the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. Areas to the north have been devastated by four months of war, and Egypt has said it will not open its borders.

The United Nations has expressed concern about any plan to move the civilian population in Gaza and about Israeli plans to launch an offensive in the area populated by people already in need of humanitarian aid.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Monday that humanitarian assistance in Gaza remains “completely insufficient,” and that an Israeli offensive in Rafah would greatly harm those efforts.

“An all-out Israeli offensive on the city would not only be terrifying for more than a million Palestinian civilians sheltering there; it would put the final nail in the coffin of our aid programs,” Guterres said.

Israel reported Monday killing dozens of militants in the Zeytoun area, east of Gaza City in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, as well as in Khan Younis in southern Gaza.

The Israeli military also said Monday it was carrying out strikes “deep in Lebanon” targeting the militant group Hezbollah. Security sources said the strikes happened near the city of Baalbek.

Israel and Hezbollah, a Hamas ally, have traded fire across their border throughout the war, which helped fuel fears of a widening conflict.

Earlier Monday, Israeli said a missile intercepted an Israeli drone Monday as it operated over Lebanon.

The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said Monday that at least 90 people had been killed during the past day, pushing the total from Israel’s military operation to at least 29,782 people killed and 70,043 injured. Israel’s military has said it has killed 12,000 Hamas fighters. Most of those killed have been women and children.

Israel began its military campaign to wipe out Hamas after the October 7 Hamas terror attack on Israel killed 1,200 people according to Israeli tallies and led to the capture of about 250 hostages.

About 100 hostages were released during a weeklong cease-fire in November. The Israeli military says it believes about 30 hostages held by Hamas have subsequently died or been killed in Gaza.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh announced his resignation Monday.

“The next stage and its challenges require new governmental and political arrangements that take into account the new reality in the Gaza Strip,” Shtayyeh said at a Cabinet meeting.

The Palestinian Authority governs part of the Israeli-occupied West Bank and lost power in Gaza to Hamas after a power struggle in 2007.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.

Source: VOA, News agencies.
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