The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began this Monday (6) a new offensive in Rafah, in the extreme south of the Gaza Strip. After ordering the Palestinians occupying the territory to withdraw, Israel launched aerial bombers that are considered “preparations” for an unprecedented ground attack in the region.

According to Hamas, the Israeli offensive puts hundreds of thousands of civilians at risk, ignoring the “humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip”. An estimated 1 million Palestinians displaced by the war are in Rafah, making a large-scale evacuation unfeasible. Hamas also warned that the continuation of the genocide could change “the fate of enemy prisoners”, in reference to the hostages.

The threat from Israel is seen as a “dangerous escalation” that will be met with responses, says Sami Abu Zuhri, a senior Hamas official. He holds US President Joe Biden co-responsible for the current situation. “The United States government, alongside the occupation (Israeli)is responsible for this terrorism,” Zuhri told Reuters.

This Monday, the deadline imposed by Israel for the removal of the population expires. The Israeli army used various means of communication (from telephones to leaflets) to demand that Palestinians move to an “expanded humanitarian zone” located 20 kilometers from Rafah.

If the ground offensive materializes, the number of victims is likely to multiply. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, Israel’s bombings in Gaza have left 34,650 dead and 78,000 injured.


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