Why Israel asked Rafah to move out ahead of military operations?

The decision has come after Hamas fired rockets at the Karen Abu Salem crossing, killing three Israeli soldiers on Sunday.

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Courtesy: ANI

Following an urgent alert warning from the country's defense minister, the Israel military has asked the residents of eastern Rafah to evacuate urgently. According to the sources, the country will be taking intense action, following the orders. 

The orders have come after intense Israeli bombardment that claimed lives of 22 people, which also includes 8 children. After which, Hamas fired rockets at the Karen Abu Salem crossing, killing three Israeli soldiers.

Avichay Adraee, head of the Arab media division of the IDF Spokesperson's Unit has urged residents to move out to designated humanitarian areas at the checkpoints for their safety. According to the sources, the call specifically targeted the individuals residing in the municipality of Al-Shawka and the neighborhoods of Al-Salam, Al-Jneina, Tiba Zaraa, and Al-Bayouk in the Rafah area.

Taking it to the official X handle, the Israel Defense Force tweeted, “The IDF has expanded the humanitarian area in Al-Mawasi to accommodate the increased levels of aid flowing into Gaza. This expanded humanitarian area includes field hospitals, tents and increased amounts of food, water, medication, and additional supplies.

According to the IDF spokesperson, almost 100,000 people will be evacuated into the southern Gaza city. However, the spokesperson has not given any specific time for the completion of the evacuation or the start of military operations in Rafah.

It is worth noting that the series of alerts are coming given the ongoing Israel-Hamas war which started on October 7, last year.

Huge number of people in evacuation

Notably, more than 1.2 million Palestinians are refugees in Rafah, which is more than half of Gaza's population, according to the World Health Organization. Out of which most of the people sheltering in Rahah have been forced to flee their homes amid ongoing war.

Meanwhile, humanitarian organizations have issued a warning against launching a full-scale ground assault on Rafah, as it may lead to increased suffering and death toll among the 1.2 million Palestinians who have been forced from their homes in and around the city. 

According to sources, international bodies and humanitarian organizations have criticized earlier evacuation orders for failing to provide safe havens amid ongoing fighting.