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Amid concerns of Rafah ops, Israeli military presents plan to evacuate civilians from ‘fighting areas’

Mon, 26 Feb 2024   |  Reading Time: 2 minutes

Tel Aviv [Israel], February 26 (ANI): The Israeli military has submitted a plan to the war cabinet for ‘evacuating the population’ of Gaza from areas of fighting, amid looming concerns of an offensive incursion in the southern city of Rafah, according to CNN.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said he had directed the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) to draw up a plan for the evacuation of civilians from Rafah, where more than a million people are crammed.
According to the report, the ‘upcoming operational plan’ was submitted for approval on Monday, Netanyahu’s office said. But, it did not mention Rafah by name.
Meanwhile, fears are growing in Gaza and across the international community over the IDF’s planned offensive on Rafah, which lies next to the shuttered border with Egypt.
The city has become home to the majority of displaced Palestinians as the Israeli military advanced south through the enclave, but those civilians seemingly have no further place to escape.
The US has repeatedly warned it would not support a campaign on the city without a “credible” plan to evacuate Palestinians.
Monday’s statement from Netanyahu’s office said the cabinet also approved a plan for providing humanitarian assistance to Gaza “in a manner that will prevent the looting that has occurred in the northern Strip and other areas.”
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Sunday, that negotiators had come to an “understanding” on the broad contours of a potential deal, and talks are continuing in Qatar on Monday.
These negotiations come even as indirect discussions with Hamas continue. Crucially, Hamas has not yet signed onto this possible framework, and any possible final deal is still, at the earliest, days away as negotiators continue to hammer out the actual details.
“The representatives of Israel, the United States, Egypt, and Qatar met in Paris and came to an understanding among the four of them about what the basic contours of a hostage deal for a temporary ceasefire would look like. I’m not going to go into the specifics of that because it is still under negotiation in terms of hammering out the details of it,” CNN quoted Sullivan as saying.
“There will have to be indirect discussions by Qatar and Egypt with Hamas because ultimately they will have to agree to release the hostages. That work is underway,” Sullivan said, adding, “And we hope that in the coming days, we can drive to a point where there is actually a firm and final agreement on this issue. But we will have to wait and see.” (ANI)



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