3:10 PM ET, February 9, 2024
These are the most important things to know after Netanyahu calls for a plan to evacuate civilians from Rafah
From CNN staff
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the army to make plans to evacuate the more than 1.3 million people the United Nations estimates live in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, his office said Friday.
In the statement, his office said it was not possible to both eliminate Hamas and leave “four Hamas battalions in Rafah.”
Here’s what you need to know about these and other developments in the war between Israel and Hamas:
This is what the United States said: “It would be a disaster to carry out such an operation now, without any planning and with little thought, in an area that is home to a million people,” deputy foreign ministry spokesperson Vedant Patel said at a press conference. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also expressed concerns about the Rafah expansion during meetings with Netanyahu and other Israeli officials this week, two Israeli officials told CNN on Wednesday.
Non-governmental organizations warn: Several non-governmental organizations have warned of the humanitarian consequences of Israeli operations in Rafah. The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), for example, said the city, which borders Egypt, could soon turn into an area of bloodshed and destruction from which people will not be able to escape.