Israeli military orders Palestinians in Rafah to ‘evacuate immediately’

Palestinians check the wreckage of Al-Khatib family's Rafah residence in Gaza, which was destroyed by Israeli airstrikes.

Israel’s military has issued a stark warning to Palestinians in eastern Rafah, Gaza, directing them to evacuate immediately. The directive comes in the wake of a devastating overnight barrage that claimed the lives of 22 people in Rafah, including eight children.

The Israeli military has indicated its intention to employ “extreme force” in southern Gaza, prompting urgent evacuation measures for residents in the affected areas.

Avichay Adraee, head of the IDF Spokesperson’s Arab media division, urged residents to move immediately to designated humanitarian areas at the checkpoints for their safety.

The evacuation notice specifically targeted residents of Al-Shawka municipality and neighborhoods including Al-Salam, Al-Jneina, Tiba Zaraa, and Al-Bayouk in Rafah.

Israel’s ongoing bombardment of Gaza since October 7 has caused extensive destruction, displacing many residents multiple times during the seven-month genocide. Over 35,000 Palestinians have lost life and majority of the victims are women and children.

Aid agencies have cautioned against a full-scale ground invasion of Rafah, warning of increased suffering and casualties among the 1.2 million displaced Palestinians in the southern Gaza area.

According to the World Food Programme, northern Gaza is already experiencing severe food shortages, with famine conditions spreading across the strip.

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