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950,000 Gazans have evacuated Rafah as IDF operation continues

Rafah refugees

130 terrorists killed in fighting in east Rafah, as IDF reports major progress in evacuating Gazans from the southern city.

By David Rosenberg, World Israel News

The vast majority of Rafah’s civilian population has evacuated the city over the past two weeks, according to a statement released by the Israeli military on Monday.

Rafah, a city straddling the border between the Gaza Strip and Egyptian-ruled Sinai Peninsula, was home to some 200,000 people prior to October 7th, but swelled to over 1.5 million during Israel’s invasion of the coastal enclave, as residents of the northern Strip sought refuge close to the Egyptian border.

For the past month, the IDF has encouraged Gazans to evacuate from Rafah, ahead of the ground operation conducted by Israel to eradicate the four remaining Hamas battalions in the city.

In the past two weeks, the IDF said Monday, Israel has facilitated the evacuation of approximately 950,000 Gazans from Rafah.

The Israeli military now estimates that there are between 300,000 and 400,000 Gazans left in and around Rafah.

Most of the evacuees have relocated to al-Muwasi, a Bedouin enclave along Gaza’s Mediterranean coast. A minority have moved to Khan Yunis, another city in southern Gaza, where the IDF has already conducted a major ground operation.

The Biden administration had estimated that it would take at least four months to evacuate Rafah without causing a humanitarian catastrophe in the area.

IDF ground forces continue to move through Rafah on an east-to-west axis, with Israel now said to control some 30 to 40% of the city.

Israeli forces have also taken control of the Philadelphi Corridor on the Gaza side of the Egypt-Gaza frontier.

The Israeli military said that over 130 terrorists have been killed in the Rafah operation thus far, and that “a number of” terror tunnels have been demolished in eastern Rafah.

Despite the IDF’s progress in Rafah, the army believes Hamas forces in the city still retain significant rocket-launching capabilities and could strike central Israel.

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