On May 6, the IDF began calling on Palestinians to evacuate the eastern neighborhoods of Rafah, which are close to the Israeli border. 

According to UN estimates, some 1.4 million citizens, including both local residents and refugees from other areas of the Strip, live there. The evacuation is conducted ahead of a large-scale military offensive in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

According to the presented plan, residents of the eastern suburbs of Rafah will be evacuated first. The civilians are being called to move to an expanded humanitarian zone in the al-Mawasi and Khan Younis areas.

"The IDF is expanding the humanitarian zone in Mawasi and is calling on the population to temporarily evacuate from the eastern neighborhoods of Rafah to the expanded humanitarian zone. The expanded humanitarian zone includes field hospitals, tents, and an increased supply of food, water, medicine, and other supplies. In cooperation with international organizations and other countries, the IDF is increasing the volume of humanitarian aid entering the sector. With the approval of the political leadership, the IDF is calling on the population under Hamas control to temporarily evacuate from the eastern neighborhoods of Rafah to the expanded humanitarian space. This issue will be addressed gradually in accordance with ongoing situational assessments," the IDF statement reads. 

Evacuation notices will be distributed through flyers, text messages, phone calls, and media announcements in Arabic.

In recent days, the IDF Air Force has been striking targets in Rafah, while IDF artillery has been shelling targets east of the city.

According to military intelligence, four battalions of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, and forces from other terrorist groups are located in Rafah.

Earlier, it was not ruled out that the Israeli cabinet might postpone the operation in Rafah if negotiations with Hamas lead to a deal that would result in the release of many hostages held by terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

Media reports indicated that Israel has purchased tens of thousands of tents for civilians it intends to evacuate from Rafah before the start of the military operation.

The Wall Street Journal, citing Egyptian officials informed about Israel's plans, reported that the relocation of peaceful residents from Rafah to nearby Khan Yunis and other areas is being prepared. In Cairo, it was assumed that the operation to evacuate residents of Rafah would last two to three weeks and would be carried out in coordination with the United States, Egypt, and other Arab countries, such as the United Arab Emirates. It is expected that the military operations in Rafah will last at least six weeks.