Photo Credit: Atia Mohammed / Flash 90
A tent camp in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, set up for Gazans who evacuated from their homes, Jan. 30, 2024.

The IDF presented the War Cabinet this weekend with its operational plan for Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost city, where at least four Hamas battalions remain active.

Rafah is also the site of the Gaza crossing into Egypt, which maintains a firm lock on who can enter and leave the enclave. Money has a lot to do with that process; “fees” to get on the exit list can run as high as $10,000 per individual.


“The IDF presented the War Cabinet with a plan for evacuating the population from the areas of fighting in the Gaza Strip, and with the upcoming operational plan,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement on Sunday.

“In addition, the plan for providing humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip in a manner that will prevent the looting that has occurred in the northern Strip and other areas was approved.”

The plan involves the direct transfer of humanitarian aid to northern Gaza through the reopened Karni Crossing into the enclave from Israel.

It is believed that allowing the aid to enter Gaza through the old crossing, located near Kibbutz Nahal Oz and its IDF base, will prevent interference and looting by Hamas terrorists. Nahal Oz was one of the first sites to be attacked on October 7 by thousands of Hamas-led terrorists from Gaza.

More than a million Gaza residents are currently living in Rafah after having been previously evacuated by the IDF from active combat zones.

The Prime Minister’s Office did not share details on the plans.

Hamas and other terrorist operatives have been embedding themselves among Gazans being evacuated from combat zones by the IDF and it can be assumed they will attempt to do the same once civilians began the move out of Rafah.

This weekend IDF soldiers spotted and arrested terrorists attempting to hide behind civilians evacuating western Khan Younis as they carried out targeted raids and airstrikes across Gaza.


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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.