Israel’s military proposed a plan for evacuating civilians from the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office announced Monday, after he said a ground invasion of the Palestinian territory’s southern city Rafah was necessary for “total victory”, Report informs via France 24.

Foreign governments and aid organisations have repeatedly expressed fears that such an operation will inflict mass civilian casualties.

More than 1.4 million Palestinians — most of them displaced from elsewhere — have converged on the last Gazan city untouched by Israel’s ground troops.

It is also the entry point for desperately needed aid, brought in via neighbouring Egypt.

Israel’s military “presented the War Cabinet with a plan for evacuating the population from areas of fighting in the Gaza Strip, and with the upcoming operational plan”, a statement in Hebrew from Netayahu’s office said Monday.

The statement did not give any details about how or where the civilians would be moved.

The announcement comes after Egyptian, Qatari and US “experts” met in Doha for talks also attended by Israeli and Hamas representatives, state-linked Egyptian media reported, the latest effort to secure a truce before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Israel’s ally the United States said ongoing mediation efforts produced “an understanding” towards a ceasefire and hostage release, while a Hamas source said the group insisted on the withdrawal of Israeli forces.