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Israel approves plan for ground offensive for Rafah

February 12, 2024 at 1:02 pm

Israel continues to deploy soldiers, tanks, military aircraft and armoured vehicles near the Gaza border in Nahal Oz, Israel on December 12, 2023 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

The Israeli army has approved plans for a ground offensive in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, local media reported yesterday.

“The plan will be presented when the army is requested to do so,” Army Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi said during a Cabinet session, Israeli public broadcaster Kan reported.

The Israeli army plans to launch a ground offensive in Rafah, home to more than one million displaced Palestinians, to defeat what Tel Aviv calls the remaining “Hamas battalions”. The planned offensive has triggered concerns of a humanitarian catastrophe in the city.

READ: 100 bodies recovered following Israeli forces’ withdrawal from Gaza City

Palestinians have sought refuge in Rafah as Israel pounded the rest of the enclave since 7 October and decimated entire neighbourhoods. The ensuing Israeli bombardment has killed more than 28,000 Palestinians, the majority children and women.

Israel launched a deadly bombing campaign in Rafah last night, without evacuating civilians from the area.

Human rights organisations and governments have called on Israel not to attack Rafah as civilians have nowhere to go to seek safety, warning that “a bloodbath” will ensue.

READ: Only Egypt can stop expected massacre in Rafah, Palestinian official says