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The IDF, using leaflets and phone calls, has ordered 100,000 Palestinians to leave eastern Rafah and head towards the al-Mawasi and Khan Younis areas. At 8 a.m. the Israel Defense Forces started to drop flyers in eastern Rafah, send text messages, and make phone calls to Palestinians with instructions on the areas that need to be evacuated, and which routes to take to a designated humanitarian zone, reported the Times of Israel. The evacuation order only applied to some of the eastern neighborhoods of Rafah, and not the entire city in southern Gaza for now. The IDF assures the population subject to the evacuation orders that there are tents and field hospitals waiting for them in the “expanded humanitarian zone” and that “there has been a surge of humanitarian aid going into Gaza” recently.

One flier, addressed to all Gaza Strip residents, announced the expansion of the designated humanitarian zone in the al-Mawasi area. “In this area, the expanded humanitarian aid will continue. The IDF will continue to fight the terror organizations that use you as human shields. Therefore: Gaza City is a dangerous fighting zone; avoid crossing to the north of Wadi Gaza,” it read. “It is prohibited to come near to the eastern and southern security fences,” the IDF flier added.

The second flier, addressed to the residents and those sheltering in eastern Rafah neighborhoods, warned that “the IDF is about to operate with force against the terror organizations in the area where you currently reside, as the IDF has operated so far.” “Anyone in the area puts themselves and their family members in danger,” it read. This flier also warned against approaching the Israeli and Egyptian borders.

Not everyone is welcoming the Israeli evacuation order. “This is a dangerous escalation that will have consequences,” said Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhuri, reported Reuters. “The U.S. administration, alongside the occupation, bears responsibility for this terrorism.”

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