‘We’ll never leave Gaza’ – People in Rafah fear Israeli assault

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Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in Rafah – Gaza’s southernmost city – arrived there after being forced to move again and again, fleeing Israeli air strikes and ground attacks.

But Israel’s prime minister has now asked troops to “prepare to operate” in Rafah too. He says “total victory” by Israel over Hamas is just months away.

On Friday, Benjamin Netanyahu said he had ordered the military to prepare a dual plan to evacuate civilians from the city, to make way for an expanded operation there.

“We never want to leave Gaza,” says Umm Mohammad, a displaced woman. “We were born here, we live here and we want to die here.”

The US has warned it will not support an unplanned Israeli offensive in Rafah, which it says would be a “disaster”.

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