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Hamas: Looming invasion of Rafah will have serious consequences for Israel

Displaced Palestinians in Rafah pack their belongings following an evacuation order by Israel on May 6, 2024. (AFP)

Hamas warns Israel that any ground operation in Rafah would have serious consequences for the regime as the Palestinian resistance movement is fully prepared to defend its people in the southern Gaza city.

The Palestinian group said in a statement on Monday that “any military operation in Rafah will not be a walk in the park for the fascist occupation army.”

“Our valiant resistance, led by al-Qassam Brigades, is fully prepared to defend our people," Hamas said referring to its armed wing.

The Palestinian movement also called on the international community to take urgent action to stop the regime’s planned offensive on Rafah, home to about 1.4 million displaced Palestinians, who have taken refuge in the border town and its surroundings after they fled their hometowns elsewhere in the territory to escape the regime's onslaught and now face another move.

Hamas warned that any incursion into Rafah threatens the lives of hundreds of thousands of defenseless civilians, including children, women and the elderly.

"The actions taken by the terrorist occupation army in preparation for an attack on the densely populated city of Rafah … have resulted in massacres of innocent civilians.”

On Monday, Israel’s military issued a call for residents and displaced people to evacuate eastern neighborhoods of the border town.

The military also carried out airstrikes on areas in eastern Rafah, according to Gaza’s Al-Aqsa TV.

People in Rafah, Hamas said, are now “subject to the most heinous crimes by the Zionist killing machine, supported limitlessly by the complicit American administration in the genocide.”

US must ‘prevent genocide’ in Rafah

Palestinian presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina said on Monday that the president urged the United States to “act immediately and prevent genocide and displacement in Gaza.”

He said Washington will be responsible for the “genocidal” results of the regime’s planned offensive on Rafah.

Biden will speak to Netanyahu

Later in the day, the White House said in a statement that Biden will speak to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the planned offensive on Rafah.

A spokesman for the National Security Council told AFP Washington had made its "views clear on a major ground invasion of Rafah" to Israel, and "the president will speak with the prime minister today."

Biden has recently authorized the transfer of over 1,000 500-pound bombs and over 1,000 small-diameter bombs to Israel, CNN cited sources familiar with the matter.

The Palestinian presidential spokesman said the Biden administration provided financial and military support to Israel and encouraged the regime to continue “massacres” against Palestinians.

Israel has killed more than 34,600 people in Gaza since early October, according to the ministry of health in the besieged Palestinian territory.

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