Israel Urges Civilians To Evacuate Portion of Gaza Amid Rumors of Massive Ground Force Invasion

( – Civilians in Gaza continue losing their lives as the fighting between Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Hamas enters its seventh month. Israeli officials have attempted to negotiate the safe return of hostages in exchange for a cease-fire multiple times but to no avail. The IDF recently urged civilians to evacuate a southern portion of Gaza.

On May 6, Israeli officials ordered the evacuation of tens of thousands of civilians from Rafah, a city in southern Gaza where roughly 1.5 million Palestinians have taken shelter amid mounting rumors that the IDF could mount a long-anticipated ground force invasion there.

Fox News reported that Israeli Defense Minister Yaov Gallant sent word to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin advising that the US ally had no choice regarding the decision to attack Rafah. He claimed that Hamas launched a deadly rocket attack from the city earlier that day, killing several IDF troops.

So far, Netanyahu has insisted that wiping out Hamas was imperative, regardless of any cease-fire agreement or the safe return of hostages from Gaza. The IDF has described Rafah as Hamas’ final stronghold of any military significance, and clearing the city is vital to defeating the terrorist group.

The Associated Press (AP) reported that Hamas had accepted the terms of a cease-fire agreement proposed by officials in Egypt and Qatar. However, twenty-five minutes later, AP reported that an “unnamed official” with insider information said the Israelis hadn’t accepted the terms of the agreement since the proposal didn’t include the “framework” Israel had previously “proposed.”

The media outlet later reported that IDF spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari confirmed that Israeli officials were considering the proposal. However, he explained that Israeli troops would “continue [their] operations in the Gaza Strip,” adding that they would “continue to do so.”

The AP reported that Israeli leaders had approved a military operation in Rafah, and IDF troops were striking targets there. Meanwhile, Netanyahu issued a statement advising that it would send negotiators to continue cease-fire talks despite the fact the latest proposal didn’t meet “Israel’s essential demands.”

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