Palestinians Urged to Evacuate as Attack Looms

( – More than 1 million Palestinians fled to Rafah when Israel began bombing the Gaza Strip. The city sits on the border of Egypt and is a vital route for humanitarian aid. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) recently urged those refugees to flee the city.

The IDF dropped flyers in Rafah that warned of an impending ground invasion and told the Palestinian people to leave the area. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and hardliners in his government have signaled the invasion will happen despite the international community’s urging to hold off.

According to reports, the mobilization of the IDF took place after Hamas was accused of firing rockets at the Kerem Shalom crossing, where humanitarian aid crosses into Gaza from Israel. Several soldiers were killed, and others suffered injuries.

On May 6, Hamas announced it accepted an Egyptian-Qatari ceasefire proposal. Their announcement came after Israel moved tanks into Rafah, stopping near the city’s border crossing with Gaza. The IDF also carried out airstrikes on Rafah later that night, killing five people, including a woman and a child.

After the Hamas accepted the ceasefire, Israel’s War Cabinet decided to move forward with the invasion. Netanyahu’s office rejected the Egyptian-Qatari truce proposal, saying that it “is far from meeting Israel’s core demands.” The core demand of the Israeli military is to completely obliterate Hamas. However, Israel did say that it was going to send negotiators to Egypt to hammer out a possible deal. Qatar is also sending a team to Egypt.

President Joe Biden spoke to Netanyahu and reiterated America’s concerns about an invasion in Rafah. The US has repeatedly warned against it because of the sheer number of refugees in the area. An American official told The Associated Press the US was looking into what ceasefire the terrorist organization agreed to and whether it was a version that Israel and international negotiators signed off on.

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