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Israel Calls For Evacuation Of Rafah As Hamas Accepts Gaza Truce Proposal

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Israel Calls For Evacuation Of Rafah As Hamas Accepts Gaza Truce Proposal

After Israel ordered Palestinians in Rafah to leave their city in anticipation of a long-awaited invasion, Hamas announced on Monday that it had agreed to a ceasefire proposal in the seven-month-old conflict in Gaza.

Cries of joy, “Allahu Akbar” (meaning “God is greatest”), and celebratory gunfire filled the air as the news of Hamas sent joyful masses onto the street.

The United States, Israel’s strong ally, stated it was “reviewing” Hamas’s answer, but Israel did not immediately issue an official statement.

Hamas released a statement stating that its leader, Ismail Haniyeh, had notified Qatar and Egypt, who were acting as mediators, “of Hamas’s approval of their proposal regarding a ceasefire agreement”.

After seven months of fighting, a top Hamas leader stated that Israel must now determine whether to “obstruct” or accept a truce in the Palestinian area.

“The onus is now on Israeli occupation to decide whether to implement the ceasefire agreement or thwart it,” the official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the talks.

Israel issued a demand earlier on Monday for Palestinians to evacuate eastern Rafah, as concern over the potential repercussions of an Israeli foot invasion of the southern Gaza metropolis that borders Egypt grows on a worldwide scale.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, denounced the directive and stated that it would be “impossible to carry out safely”.

Israel and Hamas made the evacuation order following disagreements over the Palestinian militant group’s demands to terminate the war during negotiations over the weekend in Cairo.

Related Article: Israeli PM Vows To Invade Rafah Despite Humanitarian Concern

According to Egyptian state media, the negotiations broke down after four Israeli troops were killed on Sunday by a rocket attack that was attributed to Hamas’s armed wing.

Disregarding international concerns, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised to push ground forces into Rafah regardless of any agreement.

“Where are we going to go?”

The “extended humanitarian area” at Al-Mawasi on the coast is where inhabitants of eastern Rafah should go, according to a statement from Israel’s military. Aid organizations asserted that the safe zone established by Israel was unprepared for such a large-scale migration.

Director of the Norwegian Refugee Council Jan Egeland stated, “The area is already overstretched and devoid of vital services”.

An Israeli military spokesman responded, “The estimate is around 100,000 people,” when asked how many people should relocate.

About 250,000 people live in the approved evacuation zone, according to the Red Crescent, many of whom have already been relocated from other places.

The space is already crowded, according to 36-year-old Palestinian Abdul Rahman Abu Jazar, “does not have enough room for us to make tents”.

“Where can we go?” he enquired.

Israel was encouraged to “renounce” a ground offensive by EU Foreign Affairs Chief Josep Borrell, who referred to the evacuation orders as “unacceptable” on Monday.

Ayman Safadi, the foreign minister of Jordan, wrote on X, saying, “Another murder of the Palestinian people is about to happen… To stop it, everyone must act right away.”

Around 600,000 children are crammed into Rafah; UNICEF warned that they face “further catastrophe”.

Gentle Reminder: Be careful how you use your authority and influence, be wise, and treat others with respect.

Chychy Jonas

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