Rafah Attack: No Set Start Date for Media

Israel to Evacuate Civilians from Rafah as Preparations for Attack on Gaza Border Town Begin

Prime Minister Netanyahu has instructed the armed forces to prepare a plan for an attack on the Gaza border town of Rafah and evacuate civilians from the area. The date for the attack has not been decided yet, but one of the biggest concerns is what will happen to the tunnels that run between Egypt and Gaza. These tunnels are believed to have been used by extremist organization Hamas to smuggle weapons and supplies into Gaza. According to Haaretz, Israel’s declarations of intent to attack Rafah could increase pressure and prompt Hamas leaders to show more flexibility in negotiations.

Netanyahu had earlier told his government that the attack should be completed by March 10, coinciding with the beginning of Ramadan in the region. Hamas warned that a possible Israeli ground attack on Rafah could result in tens of thousands of casualties, while several international actors expressed concern about the potential impact of such an attack. Israel had previously ordered people to evacuate to the southern part of Gaza, but there were hundreds of thousands of civilians still in the Rafah area. According to data from Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry, over 28,000 people had already been killed by Israeli airstrikes and attacks by Saturday since Israel began its military operations in Gaza after an October attack by Hamas.

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