Ok, you poor shmucks we bombed in Gaza City, we told you to give up all your worldly possessions and start hiking to seek refuge in areas South. After hiking 75-125 miles it's now time for us to bomb your new home again. So pack up your sheet and get ready to move again!
Sorry. PS. We've heard you don't care for us. Very bad. If you don't improve your attitude we'll have no choice but to bomb you again. We want to be friends.
Netanyahu orders Rafah evacuation ahead of expected invasion
BY BRAD DRESS, The Hill
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the military to prepare for civilian evacuations in Rafah on Friday as his troops are set to enter the densely populated city that now serves as the largest refugee camp for Palestinians fleeing the war between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas.
Netanyahu said in a statement shared by his office that he ordered Israel’s military and the security establishment to submit a plan to evacuate the population in the southern Gaza Strip city before entering the refugee camp to fight Hamas.
“It is impossible to achieve the goal of the war without eliminating Hamas, and by leaving four Hamas battalions in Rafah,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “On the contrary, it is clear that intense activity in Rafah requires that civilians evacuate the areas of combat.”
Israel threatened to move into Rafah last week. Israel Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said the advance would come now that forces had completed operations in the southern city of Khan Yunis.
Rafah, situated at the border with Egypt, is the last designated safe zone in Gaza, with Israeli troops having fought across almost the entire Gaza Strip.
About 1.5 million displaced Palestinians are at the refugee camp, which also serves as the main hub for humanitarian aid entering the territory to help besieged civilians who are struggling to access the basic necessities of food, water and medical aid.
The Israeli push into Gaza is likely to frustrate the Biden administration, which is trying to get Israel to reduce casualties in the coastal enclave. More than 27,000 Palestinians have died in the war, according to Hamas health officials, who say most of the dead are women and children.
President Biden delivered his most disapproving remarks yet on the war when he said the military action in Gaza was “over the top” during a Thursday night appearance at the White House.
State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel said Thursday that a move into Rafah “is not something that we’d support.”
To “conduct such an operation right now with no planning and little thought in an area where there is sheltering of a million people would be a disaster,” Patel told reporters.
Mike Merryman-Lotze, who works for the Quaker humanitarian organization American Friends Service Committee, which has personnel on the ground to assist Palestinian civilians, said invading Rafah “will only cause more death and suffering.”
“Almost the entire population of Gaza has been squeezed up against the border in Rafah and now has nowhere left to flee,” Merryman-Lotze said in a statement. “This invasion comes as people in Gaza are dying from starvation, thirst, exposure, and the destruction and obstruction of access to health care.”
UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell said more than 600,000 children are in Rafah, urging Israel to not move into the area.
“Thousands more could die in the violence or by lack of essential services, and further disruption of humanitarian assistance,” Russell said in a statement. “We need Gaza’s last remaining hospitals, shelters, markets and water systems to stay functional. Without them, hunger and disease will skyrocket, taking more child lives.”
But Israel is vowing to destroy Hamas in retaliation for its Oct. 7 attack that killed about 1,200 Israelis, along with the taking of some 240 hostages, more than 100 of whom are still in Gaza.
Netanyahu has rejected the latest negotiations to free those hostages after Hamas pressed for a cease-fire in return for their freedom, and the Israeli leader is set on the complete defeat of the militant group, including finding and killing Palestinian leaders responsible for the October attacks.
Israel has said its war aim includes hunting Hamas in every corner of Gaza, and it has accused the militants of hiding behind civilians.