Israel at War

Israel to relocate 1.4M Palestinians from Rafah ahead of attacks

The United States hasn't been provided with any kind of plan as to where people would go if they are indeed asked to leave.

Israel to relocate 1.4M Palestinians from Rafah ahead of attacks
Palestinians line up for food in Rafah, Gaza Strip.
Fatima Shbair / AP
SMS

Israel officials are now saying they plan to move 1.4 million displaced Palestinians in Rafah to humanitarian enclaves ahead of a planned military attack.

Israel Defense Forces Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari announced plans to relocate internally displaced Palestinians to designated areas within the Central Gaza Strip. Referring to these areas as "humanitarian islands," he assured that residents would receive essential provisions such as food, water and temporary housing.

“We need to make sure that 1.4 million people or at least a significant amount of the 1.4 million will move. Where? To humanitarian islands that we will create with the international community,” Hagari told reporters but didn't provide any specifics regarding transportation logistics, the timeline for implementation, nor when the Rafah offensive would begin, the Associated Press reported.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyau has said that targeting Rafah is necessary in order to destroy Hamas’ remaining military battalions in Gaza's southern city. However, more than half of Gaza's population is now sheltering in Rafah after fleeing the north and center of the enclave after the area was declared a "safe zone."

According to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, so far the United States hasn't actually been provided with any kind of plan as to where people would go if they are indeed asked to leave. 

“We need to see a plan that will get civilians out of harm’s way if there’s a military operation in Rafah,” Blinken said."We’ve not yet seen such a plan.”

Another issue at hand is that Rafah serves as Gaza's primary gateway for crucially needed humanitarian assistance, as there are currently no working ports in Gaza, leaving organizations such as World Central Kitchen having to create a makeshift pier using rubble from a number of destroyed buildings in the strip.

Right now, there is no clear path on how aid will be distributed once it hits the ground.

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