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Daily News Analysis

Operation in Eastern Rafah

Operation in Eastern Rafah

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  • The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said they had launched an operation in Rafah. a city located on the Gaza Strip’s southern border with Egypt, to reportedly target Hamas.


  • Operation in Eastern Rafa is described by IDF as a “precise counterterrorism operation to eliminate Hamas terrorists and infrastructure within specific areas of eastern Rafah, a city located on the Gaza Strip’s southern border with Egypt.”
  • The military action comes after Israel did not agree to a peace deal with Palestinian militant group Hamas, brokered by Egypt and Qatar. While Hamas accepted the agreement, Israel said its “core demands” were not being met under it.
  • Hamas accepted the cease-fire deal came hours after Israel ordered an evacuation of some 100,000 Palestinians from eastern neighborhoods of Rafah, signaling an invasion was imminent.
  • Following Hamas’s October 7, 2023 attack on Israel, in which around 1,200 people died and 250 were taken hostage, Israel launched a military campaign on Gaza that has killed more than 34,000 people to date – the majority being women and children.

Significance of Rafah

  • According to the United Nations, more than 1.4 million people are currently in Rafah, which was once a city of 300,000 people.
  • This population increase is because Israeli forces attacked most other major areas of the narrow Gaza Strip and after the Hamas attacks, on October 13, the IDF had told 1.1 million people living in the north of Gaza to evacuate within 24 hours.
  • Rafah’s border crossing is crucial for the supply of food and fuel to Gaza.
  • Since Also Gaza borders the Mediterranean Sea to its west and Israel to its east, its population has no other functioning checkpoints to exit the region at the moment.
  • In November 2023, a partial opening of the Rafah crossing was allowed so that critically injured people and foreign nationals could go to Egypt.

Possible consequences and concerns:

  • Humanitarian Crisis: Palestinians in Gaza face bombardment, limited access to basic amenities like food and water, and a potential famine according to UN officials.
  • Concerns of Israeli Settlements: There's fear that Israeli military actions could lead to more settlements in Gaza, similar to the historical precedent when Israel took control of Gaza and the West Bank in 1967 but relinquished some control after the Oslo Accords in the 1990s. However, settlements continued.
  • Repeal of Settlement Dismantlement: Israel's Parliament repealed a 2005 Act that led to the dismantlement of four Jewish settlements in the West Bank, indicating a shift towards promoting settlement activity.
  • Plans for Settlement Expansion: Israeli settlers and far-right lawmakers are envisioning Jewish-majority towns in Gaza, with calls for Arab residents to leave.

International response:

  • The US, Israel's strongest ally, has criticized Israel's actions in Gaza, but has not been able to halt them.
  • Egypt, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia have also voiced concern over the potential consequences of Israeli actions.
  • Egypt, despite concerns about Hamas, has refused to take in Gaza refugees and has warned against permanent demographic changes that could hinder Palestinian statehood.
  • Many Arab countries and Palestinians suspect Israel aims to alter demographics to undermine Palestinian statehood demands.

Israel-Hamas conflict:






Q. Match the following places with the reason for being in the news:

  1. Rafah
  2. Mount Ruang
  3. Katchatheevu Island

A. Border region between Gaza Strip and Egypt, significant for ongoing conflicts and humanitarian crises.

B. Active volcano located in Indonesia, recently erupted causing evacuation of nearby residents.

C. Disputed island between India and Sri Lanka, subject of maritime boundary disputes and fishing rights issues.


a) 1-C, 2-B, 3-A

b) 1-A, 2-C, 3-B

c) 1-B, 2-A, 3-C

 Answer: A