Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Sunday that civilians crammed into the southern Gaza Strip would be able to leave before troops enter in pursuit of Hamas militants.

His comments, alongside visiting German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, follow international fears over the fate of the roughly 1.5 million people sheltering in Rafah, most of them displaced by Gaza's war.

The office of Netanyahu, whose security and war Cabinets were to discuss the latest international efforts toward a truce deal, had on Friday said he approved the military's plan for an operation in Rafah as well as "the evacuation of the population."