Israel prepares for major offensive in Rafah region

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has said that it is preparing for a major offensive in the Rafah region of southern Gaza.

The Israel Defense Ministry sources told IANS that the IDF has prepared a road map for the evacuation of Palestinian civilians in the Rafah region of Gaza before a military offensive commences.

As per sources, during the first two to three weeks, the IDF would evacuate the civilian population. There are around 1.3 million Palestinians in Rafah region with a large number of women and children.

The civilians are likely to be moved to the adjacent city of Khan Younis which is now under Israeli control. Khan Younis region was serving as the headquarters of Hamas in southern Gaza but IDF has captured the area after flushing out all the militants.

They said that the IDF would set up temporary tents for the accommodation of these civilians who will be evacuated from the Rafah region.

The IDF will then move its troops into Rafah and target areas where it believes Hamas leaders and operatives are hiding.

Israel intelligence agencies have said that Hamas has four intact battalions in the Rafah region while 129 Israeli hostages taken by Hamas have also been held in the same region.

The US and other allies have requested Israel not to attack the Rafah region and also communicated to Israelis that the evacuation plan is not acceptable and that civilian casualties would mount during a military operation in Rafah.

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