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Operation Imminent? Israel Briefs US on Plan to Move Gazans from Rafah

The IDF has informed aid groups and the Biden administration of a plan to begin removing Gazans from Rafah ahead of an invasion, a US official and two other people familiar with the situation told American media on Friday, May 3.

The IDF recently told the US government and aid groups operating on the ground that they had developed a plan to move people out of Rafah to al-Mawasi, a small strip of land on the southern Gaza coast. The IDF sent a map of the area to aid workers last week.

The IDF also told the aid groups that the Rafah invasion would move ahead “soon” but did not give a specific date, the two people familiar said. The US official cautioned that this is not the “final” plan from the IDF, but rather “some of their latest thinking.”

A second US official told the American outlet that the Biden administration is not aware of any imminent invasion and that it is still waiting on more details from Israel on exactly how it would move people out of Rafah.

Earlier on Friday, another American news agency reported that Israel has told Hamas that it has a week to agree to a hostage deal, or else it will begin its military operation in Rafah. (INN / VFI News)

“Lord, we pray that the remaining hostages will be released and that an invasion into Rafah will not be necessary. We pray that the innocent civilians in Gaza will find refuge and safety in case of an invasion and that Hamas will not hinder them from seeking that refuge. We urge the international community to put pressure on Hamas to surrender as soon as possible to spare the civilians more pain, suffering, and grief.”