Gaza /PNN /
The Israeli prime minister has ordered the military to develop a plan to both evacuate civilians from Rafah and fight Hamas, as Palestine’s UN envoy questions where civilians will be evacuated amid the planned attack.
Ahmed al-Sufi, the mayor of Rafah, has told journalist’s that “any military action in the city crowded with more than 1.4 million Palestinians will lead to a massacre and a bloodbath”.
“We appeal to the international community and every living conscience to stop the genocide against the Palestinian people,” al-Sufi said.
He went on to say that the city is facing famine due to lack of supplies, and that the aid that enters through the Rafah crossing is only sufficient for 10 percent of the city’s population.
Today morning Israeli warplanes have bombed a car west of the city of Rafah, which led to the killing of three people, local Palestinian sources have said.
The three men all belonged to the Rafah police department and were killed in the Tel al-Sultan area in the southern city.
Ahmed al-Yaqoubi, the director of investigations in Rafah, his deputy Ayman al-Rantisi, and Ibrahim Shtat, head of the supplies investigation department, were named as the victims.
Israeli air raids killed at least 28 Palestinians in Rafah early on Saturday.
Each strike killed multiple members of three families, including a total of 10 children, the youngest three months old. Israel has carried out air strikes in Rafah almost daily, even after telling civilians in recent weeks to seek shelter there from ground combat in the city of Khan Younis, just to the north.
In Khan Younis, currently the focus of the ground invasion, troops opened fire at Nasser Hospital, the area’s largest, killing at least one person and wounding several, said Ashraf al-Qudra, a spokesperson for Gaza’s Health Ministry.
UN chief Antonio Guterres says half of Gaza’s 2.3 million population “is now crammed into Rafah with nowhere to go”, warning the displaced “have no homes” and “no hope”.
At least 27,947 people have been killed and 67,459 wounded in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7. The death toll in Israel from the October 7 Hamas attacks stands at 1,139.