Thu 22 Feb 2024 4:43 pm - Jerusalem Time

Bloomberg: Israel secretly admits that it does not have a plan to evacuate the Palestinians from Rafah, but it insists on doing so

The American "Bloomberg" agency revealed that Israeli officials are determined to move forward with the evacuation of Palestinians from Rafah, although they privately acknowledge that they "do not have a specific strategy for how to do so."

The agency also added, in a report on Thursday, February 22, 2024, that Israeli officials: “They do not know how long the evacuation of the Palestinians will take, nor the destination to which people are supposed to go after their evacuation from the city of Rafah.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also said in a telephone interview with the American Bloomberg Agency, on Wednesday, February 21, that he had ordered the Israeli occupation army to develop a plan to evacuate civilians, and was waiting for this plan to be presented to him.

Meanwhile, the residents of Gaza, who suffered greatly from the war, were stranded, and many of them began to live in tents and in the streets, facing the ravages of hunger and disease.

While the Ministry of Health in Gaza estimates that forcing the displaced in Rafah to return to their destroyed areas will increase the death toll, which has already exceeded 29 thousand dead in 4 months.

However, Israeli leaders see the invasion of Rafah as an important milestone that has further consequences in the course of the war, and they believe that with this step they are very close to dismantling the military structure of the Hamas movement and finding the remaining 100 detainees.

They claim that these goals can only be achieved by invading Rafah, as Israeli officials believe that the city contains between 5 and 8 thousand Hamas fighters and leaders, and that they are taking shelter in tunnels with Israeli detainees.

Informed sources also told the agency that officials in Israel are determined to carry out the military operation in Rafah, no matter what happens. Opinion polls show that many Israelis support Netanyahu in his intention to launch a military operation in Rafah.

Israeli officials said that the advent of Ramadan would not hinder them from seeking to achieve their military goals. They stress that the closer the declaration of victory over Hamas comes, the more citizens will begin to feel safe again, and it will become possible for discussions on regional security plans to begin.

The Israeli army also claimed that Hamas has five combat brigades in Gaza, and that it had defeated two of its brigades in the Gaza and northern governorates, and a third brigade in the areas surrounding the city of Khan Yunis, south of Gaza, and that the fourth and fifth brigades had gathered most of their remaining forces in Rafah.

While Yaakov Amidror, the former Israeli National Security Advisor, said: “We have reached the end of the beginning,” and “Completing operations in Khan Yunis will take another week. Then our forces will move to Rafah in March, to fight there until the end of April. “We can then move to forming smaller forces, as is the case in the north.” He expected fighting to continue at a low pace for the rest of the year.

The "plan" to evacuate Palestinians from Rafah

This comes as the American newspaper "Washington Post" revealed what it said were the details of the "evacuation plan" prepared by the Israeli occupation authorities in order to evacuate the Palestinians from Rafah before the ground attack that Israel plans to carry out in the city in the southern Gaza Strip.

On Thursday, February 15, the American newspaper quoted an Israeli official as saying that the planning process to evacuate the city of Rafah of the displaced Palestinians, whose number exceeded one million three hundred thousand, “is underway and a final plan has not yet been approved.”

The newspaper also quoted the source as saying that Israel’s proposal to establish a series of camps on the sea coast in Gaza did not succeed in calming the critics, in reference to the criticism directed at the occupation and the warning of a humanitarian catastrophe in the event of a military invasion of Rafah.

While the Israeli source explained to the American newspaper that the plan to evacuate the city of Rafah includes establishing 15 camps on the seashore, each with 25,000 tents, to which hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinians will be transferred from the city of Rafah before launching the military operation.

On the other hand, military analysts told the American newspaper that Israel intends to request assistance from Egypt in providing health care and other aid in the camps, and that its location opens the possibility of providing aid from the sea.

While the newspaper quoted the Israeli source as saying that the Israeli Military Cabinet opposed a proposal allowing the transfer of displaced Palestinians in Rafah to the northern Gaza Strip before the military operation in Rafah, despite the withdrawal of the Israeli occupation forces from the region.

As Israel prepares to carry out a ground military operation in Rafah, voices calling for it to stop continued, and the World Food Program warned on Thursday that “the expansion of hostilities in the city of Rafah in the far south of the Gaza Strip threatens a humanitarian catastrophe and obstructs relief operations.”


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Bloomberg: Israel secretly admits that it does not have a plan to evacuate the Palestinians from Rafah, but it insists on doing so