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Israel issues urgent evacuation notice to Gaza's eastern Rafah residents

Tel Aviv: Israel's military has issued an urgent evacuation notice to residents of eastern Rafah, following a warning from the country's defence minister of impending "intense action" in the area, CNN reported.
Avichay Adraee, head of the Arab media division of the IDF Spokesperson's Unit, urged residents to "evacuate immediately" to designated humanitarian areas at the checkpoints for their safety. The call specifically targets individuals residing in the municipality of Al-Shawka and the neighbourhoods of Al-Salam, Al-Jneina, Tiba Zaraa, and Al-Bayouk in the Rafah area.
The announcement comes amidst the ongoing bombardment of Gaza, with significant devastation witnessed since October 7. Many residents of Rafah, already displaced multiple times, now face the prospect of further displacement amid escalating conflict, as reported by CNN.
Humanitarian agencies have cautioned against a full-scale ground invasion of Rafah, warning of heightened suffering and casualties among the 1.2 million displaced Palestinians in and around the city. Northern Gaza is already grappling with a severe famine, exacerbated by months of conflict, as highlighted by the World Food Programme.
Colonel Nadav Shoshani, the IDF's international spokesperson, characterised the evacuation as a "limited scope operation" aimed at temporary relocation rather than a widespread evacuation.
Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Galant's remarks to troops inside Gaza indicate preparations for intensified military action in Rafah and other areas.
This follows the closure of the Kerem Shalom border crossing, a crucial lifeline for humanitarian aid, after being targeted by rocket attacks claimed by Hamas' military wing, resulting in casualties among IDF soldiers.
The decision to evacuate eastern Rafah raises concerns about the safety of displaced civilians and the lack of a secure refuge within Gaza.
Previous evacuation orders have drawn criticism from international bodies and humanitarian organisations, emphasising the absence of safe havens amid ongoing conflict, CNN reported.

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