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Israel sends more reservists to Gaza

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As of: April 24, 2024 12:52 pm

Israel is apparently preparing for a ground assault on Rafah, and has now sent additional security forces into the Gaza Strip – numbering in the thousands. Israel's allies warn against the move.

The Israeli military says it is sending two additional security forces to the Gaza Strip. The announcement comes as the military prepares to expand its ground assault on the southern city of Rafah, which it believes is Hamas' last bastion on the coast.

The army said the reserve forces would carry out “defensive and tactical operations in the Gaza Strip”. They were previously stationed at Israel's border with Lebanon. Israeli troops and Iran-backed Lebanese Hezbollah fighters have been fighting there since the start of the war.

“Lessons Learned from Ground Maneuvers”

In recent weeks, security forces have been training in the Gaza Strip. “Soldiers practiced combat techniques and learned key insights and lessons from previous combat and ground maneuvers in the Gaza Strip,” the statement continued.

When the war between Israel and Gaza began six and a half months ago, Israel mobilized some 300,000 reservists. However, most of them were later released.

Israel has gradually reduced the number of troops in the Gaza Strip. The country does not publish the number of its troops, but a regiment typically consists of several thousand soldiers.

The UN has warned Israel of a major attack on Rafah

Despite international warnings, Israel is planning a ground offensive in Rafah and wants to destroy the remaining battalions of the Islamist terrorist group Hamas there. Israel's allies, such as the United States, have urgently warned against action in Rafah.

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More than half of Gaza's 2.3 million residents have sought refuge in the city from attacks. It is considered to be the only town on the sealed coastline still relatively intact. There is grave international concern that an attack there could result in the loss of many civilian lives.

Evacuation is planned – but where?

According to Israel, civilians should be evacuated to “safer areas”, such as the Al-Mawasi camp on the Mediterranean coast south of the Gaza Strip. More than 400,000 people have already been registered there, according to UN data on Tuesday.

Tents are being set up near Rafah's neighboring town of Khan Younis. An Israeli military spokesman said the army was aware of the tents being set up, but it was not coordinated with the army. Israeli newspaper Haaretz wrote that Egypt was involved. However, aid organization the Egyptian Red Cross and Egyptian security sources denied reports of new tents being set up.

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