JUST IN: Netanyahu says IDF operation in Rafah must be completed by the start of Ramadan on March 10

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the War Cabinet on Thursday that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) operation in Rafah should be completed by the start of Ramadan on March 10, an Israeli official told CNN on Saturday.

Netanyahu's office said in a statement on Friday that the Israeli prime minister had instructed the army to plan the "evacuation of the population" from Rafah.

Netanyahu also said Thursday that the IDF would "soon enter Rafah, Hamas's last stronghold."

According to the United Nations, more than 1.3 million people are believed to be in Rafah, the majority of whom have been displaced from other parts of Gaza.

On Friday, Rafah residents and those displaced from elsewhere in Gaza told CNN they are scared and have nowhere else to go if Israel enters the city in the south of the Gaza Strip, close to the Egyptian border. Is.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Friday the UN was "extremely concerned" about the fate of civilians in the city, while UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths warned: "There is nowhere left to go in Gaza."

He said: "Civilians must be protected and their essential needs met, including shelter, food and health."

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