No plans to allow Palestinians back to northern Gaza when IDF operation expands to south

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

The Israel Defense Forces has no plans to allow Palestinians to move back to northern Gaza when the military expands its ground offensive into the southern part of the Strip.

The Times of Israel has learned that the IDF instead plans to direct the civilian population to areas away from the expected ground offensive in southern Gaza, in order to reduce civilian casualties.

The population may move around in southern Gaza, but not northward, according to information seen by The Times of Israel.

So far, the IDF has declared the small al-Mawasi area on the southern coast of Gaza as a “safe zone” amid the ground offensive in the north and airstrikes across the Strip.

The IDF believes the humanitarian situation in Gaza is reasonable given the circumstances, and wishes to avoid a major crisis that would harm Israel’s legitimacy to continue its operations in the Strip.

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