Photo Credit: IDF
IDF flyer sent to Gazans in Rafah explains how to reach the new safe zone in nearby Al-Mawasi.

Egypt has raised the alert level in northern Sinai in response to the IDF announcement that evacuations have begun for the civilian population in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, according to Reuters.

The IDF evacuations began in advance of Israel’s planned military operation to eliminate the five remaining Hamas terror battalions in Rafah, where it is believed many of the hostages kidnapped on October 7 are also being held.


Four IDF soldiers were killed and 10 others were wounded, including several in critical and serious condition, in an attack launched Sunday by Hamas from Rafah.

The attack, launched from an area near the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza, was aimed at the staging ground next to the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and Gaza, which was opened by Israel to facilitate the movement of humanitarian aid into the enclave.

Humanitarian aid is also being delivered to Gaza via the Rafah crossing — the site chosen by Hamas from which to launch its attack.

Israel Begins Rafah Operation
Within hours, Israel initiated evacuation procedures ahead of starting military operations in Rafah.

“People of Gaza, the IDF is expanding the humanitarian zone in Al-Mawasi,” IDF Arabic Spokesperson Avichay Adraee said in a message to Gaza residents posted to the X social media platform.

“At the same time, we call on the Palestinian residents of the eastern neighborhoods of Rafah to temporarily move towards the expanded humanitarian zone.

“The evacuation process is complex but necessary to ensure that you are not exposed to fire from Hamas. Just yesterday we saw evidence of the presence of Hamas in Rafah, as it fired rockets from a place adjacent to the Rafah crossing and exploited areas close to humanitarian shelters in order to launch missiles towards the Kerem Shalom crossing, from which humanitarian aid enters for you.

“The IDF will continue to achieve its war goals, including dismantling Hamas and returning all the kidnapped hostages,” Adraee said.

IDF ‘Seeks to Liberate Gaza from Hamas’
As with previous evacuations, the IDF has made extraordinary efforts to persuade Gaza’s civilians to move out of the impending combat zone.

“In recent hours the IDF has informed Gazans in eastern Rafah to evacuate temporarily towards the expanded humanitarian area,” Israeli government spokesperson David Mencer announced at a briefing Monday afternoon.

“We have made Gazans aware through flyers dropped, SMS messages, phone calls and media broadcasts in Arabic,” he told reporters.

“Warnings have also been issued that Gaza City is still a
dangerous active combat zone and to avoid returning north of Wadi Gaza. Warnings have also been made to stay away from the eastern and southern security fences,” Mencer said.

“The IDF has announced the expansion of the humanitarian area in Al-Mawasi; the area will spread from Deir al Balah … to the center of Kan Younis.”

Mencer said humanitarian aid efforts will continue.

“The IDF is not an army that seeks to conquer and occupy; it is an army that seeks to liberate — to liberate Gaza from
Hamas,” he emphasized.

The Flyers
IDF flyers were dropped in Gaza on Monday morning, warning residents against approaching the borders with Israel or Egypt.

One flyer, 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 fighting 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,” the IDF flyer read.

“It is prohibited to come near to the eastern and southern security fences,” the flyer added.

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

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.