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Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has announced plans to send military troops into Gaza near the border with Egypt, specifically in the areas of Rafah and central Gaza. This has raised concerns as hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinians have sought refuge in these areas. The United Nations has warned that this military action could have catastrophic consequences, worsening the already dire humanitarian situation and potentially resulting in the loss of many civilian lives. Gazan health officials estimate that over 27,000 people, including women and children, have been killed in Israel's attacks on Gaza since October.
Gazan health officials say that more than 27,000 people many of them women and children have been killed in Israel's bombardment and ground assault of Gaza since the Hamas-led attack on Oct. 7.
The situation in Gaza has become increasingly desperate as Israeli military assaults have forced more than half of the population, 1.4 million Palestinians, to seek refuge in Rafah. The main United Nations agency aiding Palestinian refugees in Gaza, UNRWA, has reported a severe shortage of food and shelter for these displaced individuals. Many Palestinians no longer view Gaza as a safe place to live, and the continuous military movements have left them terrified and exhausted. The United States Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken, has emphasized the importance of protecting civilians in Rafah and called on Israel to do everything possible to ensure their safety and provide necessary assistance.
The U.S. secretary of state, Antony J. Blinken, who is on his fifth trip to the Middle East since Oct. 7, said on Wednesday that it was especially important to protect civilians in Rafah. Israel has the responsibility, has the obligation, to do everything possible to ensure that civilians are protected and that they get the assistance they need.