Israeli army presents 'evacuation' plan for civilians in Gaza


The Israeli military has presented a plan to "evacuate" civilians from "combat zones" in the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office announced on Monday.

It came before an expected Israeli attack on the city of Rafah in southern Gaza, which the Israeli leader described as the "last stronghold" of the Hamas movement.

According to a report in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, Netanyahu's office said the army had "submitted to the Israeli War Council a plan to evacuate civilians from Rafah", without providing more details, and approved a plan to distribute humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip "that would prevent theft".

Meanwhile, the White House National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, said US President Joe Biden is yet to see Israel's plan for the military operation in Rafah and added that it should not be carried out until a clear plan to protect civilians has been chalked out.

It comes as the US confirmed that multilateral talks for a possible hostage release plan and a new ceasefire have taken place in Paris. 

In an interview with CNN, Sullivan said "representatives of Israel, the US, Egypt and Qatar met in Paris and reached an understanding between the four countries on the basic features of a hostage agreement for a temporary ceasefire".

The agreement, he added, "is still under negotiation" without divulging any details and will be discussed with Hamas representatives.

The negotiations have since moved to Doha, according to reports in the Egyptian media.

Speaking to CBS News, Netanyahu refused to reveal details of the ongoing talks, but said Hamas must "accept a logical solution".

It comes as the death toll in the Israeli war in Gaza touched 29,692, with more than 69,879 injured.

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