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Israeli Army Orders Civilians to Flee as Invasion of Eastern Rafah Begins

Photo : AFP

The Israeli army has instructed Palestinian civilians residing in various parts of eastern Rafah to evacuate as they commence an invasion of the southern city. A state of urgency was declared, urging residents and displaced Palestinians in Al Salam, Al Geneina, Tabet Ziraa, and Al Byouk districts to leave immediately and head towards Al Mawasi.

The military issued a stern warning, stating that it will use forceful measures against militants in the area. Avichay Adree, the army's Arabic spokesperson, emphasized the intention to act decisively in response to the ongoing conflict.

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Furthermore, Palestinians residing in other regions of eastern Rafah have also been directed to relocate to Al Mawasi, a coastal area situated west of the city.

The situation in Rafah has escalated, with reports of airstrikes resulting in casualties. Civil defense authorities have reported multiple attacks targeting both inhabited and uninhabited homes in the city.

Tragically, innocent lives have been lost in the violence. One account narrated the harrowing experience of a family where a seven-month-old baby and his siblings survived a previous airstrike that claimed the lives of their parents, only to face a similar fate in the current conflict.

Amidst the chaos, affected residents are grappling with uncertainty and fear. Aziz Al Turk, a father of five, expressed his predicament, highlighting the challenges of uprooting his family amidst the ongoing turmoil.

The evacuation order affects a significant number of civilians, with Israeli media estimating around 100,000 individuals impacted by the directive. Evacuation efforts are anticipated to span several weeks, underscoring the magnitude of the displacement crisis.

International organizations and concerned parties have raised alarms regarding the humanitarian implications of an invasion in Rafah. The United Nations, the United States, and other nations have emphasized the need to safeguard civilian lives and prevent further escalation of the conflict.

Meanwhile, negotiations for a ceasefire continue amidst heightened tensions. CIA director Bill Burns is scheduled to engage in emergency talks with Qatar's Prime Minister in Doha, underscoring the urgency of diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the situation.

In the face of mounting pressure, thousands of Israelis have taken to the streets to protest against the invasion, advocating for peaceful resolutions and the prioritization of civilian welfare.

As the conflict intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens, the plight of civilians caught in the crossfire remains a pressing concern, with hopes pinned on diplomatic interventions to restore peace and prevent further loss of life.

May 6, 2024 2:20 p.m. 9457

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