DECEMBER 9, 2022
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Israeli Military Finalizes Plans for Rafah Assault with Regional Cooperation

Israeli Military Finalizes Plans for Rafah Assault with Regional Cooperation

The Israeli military is nearing completion of its strategy to launch an operation in Rafah, a southern city in the Gaza Strip, as reported by the Wall Street Journal on April 23.

According to the WSJ, Israeli officials, in collaboration with Washington, Cairo, and other Arab states including the UAE, are planning a two to three-week evacuation of civilians from Rafah. The operation aims to ensure the safety of the residents while focusing on specific areas believed to house Hamas leaders.

The deployment of troops to Rafah will be gradual, targeting areas identified as Hamas strongholds. The entire operation, including evacuations, is anticipated to last at least six weeks.

An Israeli security official described the operation as having a "very tight operational plan" due to the complex nature of the area, with simultaneous humanitarian efforts underway.

Israel's evacuation plan involves relocating Rafah's civilian population to Khan Yunis and other areas within the Gaza Strip. Shelters equipped with tents, food supplies, and medical facilities will be established for the displaced residents.

Egypt has been informed about the details of the plan. Al-Araby Al-Jadeed previously reported that Egyptian forces and agencies are prepared along the border with Gaza following communications from Israel regarding the operation. The Egyptian Red Crescent has also been setting up camps in Khan Yunis to accommodate displaced Palestinians from Rafah.

Recent satellite images obtained by AP indicate the establishment of a new tent compound near Khan Yunis. Earlier reports had highlighted Egypt's creation of a security zone in Sinai near the Rafah border, speculated to assist Israel's evacuation efforts. Egypt clarified that the zone is a logistics hub for aid delivery into Gaza.

Israeli army radio announced an expansion of a designated "humanitarian zone" capable of accommodating approximately one million people. This zone will stretch from Al-Mawasi on Gaza's southern coast to Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip.

Israel perceives Rafah as Hamas' last stronghold and is determined to carry out the operation. The US has insisted that any operation must include a safe and proper evacuation plan for civilians. Despite warnings from the UN and various countries about the potential catastrophic consequences of an attack on Rafah, Israel continues with its plans.

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