Ramallah: The Palestinian Presidency has condemned a statement by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding plans to start a military operation in the city of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip.
Earlier, a statement issued by Netanyahu’s Office said that the Prime Minister had ordered the army to prepare to evacuate Rafah and start a military operation to eliminate what remains of Hamas brigades, Xinhua news agency reported.
“It is clear that a massive military operation in Rafah will force us to evacuate civilians from the combat area,” said the statement from the Palestinian Presidency on Friday.
The statement held the Israeli government and the US administration fully responsible for the consequences, emphasising the danger of such destructive policies.
The Presidency affirmed that the Palestinian people “will not abandon their land and will not accept to be displaced from their homeland”.
It called on the UN Security Council to assume its responsibilities because “the occupation’s taking of this step threatens security and peace in the region and the world, and this exceeds all red lines”.
Since the start of the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza on October 7 last year, about half of the population of the sector has fled to Rafah, adjacent to Egypt, in search of a safe place.
The process of displacement of residents from their homes has increased recently after the Israeli army launched one of its largest and most massive attacks on Khan Younis, adjacent to Rafah, since weeks ago.
The border city, which receives food and medicine aid from foreign countries and UN agencies through the Rafah crossing, is crowded with tents spread in empty agricultural lands, schools and along roadsides.
UN officials said that most of the new arrivals “live in temporary buildings, tents, or in the open air,” pointing out that Rafah has now become a “pressure cooker of despair”.