How Israel plans to evacuate Gaza border towns during next war with Hamas

The program, entitled "safe distance," will provide an evacuation plan for all communities within a seven-kilometer radius of the Gaza Strip.

By NOAM AMIR/MAARIV HASHAVUA
May 23, 2015 03:48
2 minute read.
Israeli air strike

Israeli air strike in Rafah.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Towns located up to seven kilometers from the border of the Gaza Strip will be evacuated according to predetermined, mapped locations which will make room for the proper defense management without harming citizens.

Ten months after Operation Protective Edge, the Israel Defense Forces, the National Emergency Authority and the local authorities in the South are in the final stages of formulating a plan to evacuate the residents of the South in the event of another Gaza conflict.

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The program, entitled "safe distance," will provide an evacuation plan for all communities within a seven-kilometer radius of the Gaza Strip.

Each community will be informed of its evacuation plan and in that way residents will know where to go and who will be hosting them before there is a need to evacuate. The distribution of evacuation maps is already under way. The military will be the one with the authority to determine when it is time to evacuate.

The purpose of the program is to is to prevent misunderstandings about the beginning of the evacuation and the methods of evacuation of the border settlements. The program will provide buses to those wishing to leave to the North, the South or tent housing in the Southern region and provide some space for security forces while avoiding causalities on the home front.

The army will be responsible for the actual evacuation of residents to safety and to protect the communities during the battle. The goal is to prevent the looting of houses and to report in real time to the residents whose houses are damaged by shelling. Local authorities will be responsible to keep track of the residents and of whom to contact if the need arises.

The local authority is to determine which residents will serve as officers who will remain in the community during the operation. If a family refuses to leave it will be the responsibility of the local authority and not the army. The National Emergency Authority will be responsible for coordination between the different groups and to shorten the line of communication between the army, the local authorities, and the residents. Funding will be provided by the government only.

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Local governments have been asked to promote the issue of local emergency teams. The local teams will be responsible for the evacuation operation when the time comes and will be responsible for those unwilling to leave their homes.

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