One million Palestinians hunkered down in Rafah wait and watch as Israel plans its next move

Wednesday 13 February 2024

Over one million Palestinians are hunkering down in the Gaza city of Rafah as international pressure mounts on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to show restraint.

The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) efforts have already dismantled Hamas's capabilities in the northern and central Gaza Strip, and they now plan to target the last Gaza stronghold.

IDF spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, insists that a "paradigm change" is necessary to is to ensure Hamas no longer governs the Gaza Strip as a "terrorist authority".

Speaking to TalkTV, he said: "Every civilian life lost in this war is a tragedy, whether Israelis or Palestinians. They are a direct result of Hamas's aggression against Israel.

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"The alternative to us not fighting to get rid of Hamas would be raising a white flag of surrender and sacrificing the 134 Israeli hostages that remain in the clutches of Hamas.

"We have to operate in a way that changes the paradigm and distinguishes between civilians and Hamas terrorists. That is what we're doing."

A Palestinian family flee Rafah with their belongings

Rafah, initially presented as a safe haven, is now potentially an area that could be decimated as the IDF admits the potential for collateral damage remains high.

Netanyahu's remark that a recent IDF mission that resulted in the death of 67 Palestinian was a "perfect operation" has attracted criticism.

The future for civilians in Rafah remains uncertain and it is unclear where they can go that is safe. Despite this, the IDF's determination to defeat Hamas as a governing authority remains unwavering.

However, the question remains: while the IDF may achieve a military victory, will Hamas continue to survive ideologically? Only time will tell. In the meantime, the civilians of Rafah wait and watch.

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