PM Netanyahu warns Rafah attack will come regardless of deal

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By Creative Media News

  • Netanyahu declares Israel’s intent to invade Rafah despite ceasefire talks
  • U.S. warns against incursion, emphasizes protection of civilians
  • Hostage families press for action; Hamas ceasefire acceptance uncertain

Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, has declared that Israel will invade Rafah, a city in southern Gaza, irrespective of the outcome of ceasefire negotiations with Hamas.

It occurs amid ongoing negotiations to achieve a ceasefire and the release of hostages.

Mr. Netanyahu, however, stated at a gathering of relatives of the hostages that he would invade “with or without” an agreement.

His remarks follow renewed U.S. admonitions against an invasion of Rafah in the absence of adequate protection for civilians.

A White House statement stated that during a Sunday phone call with Mr. Netanyahu, US President Joe Biden “reiterated his clear position” regarding Rafah. A previously stated “red line” by Mr. Biden was an incursion into Rafah.

More than half of the 2.5 million inhabitants of Gaza have fled to Rafah to flee the fighting in other areas of the territory. Displaced individuals have reported dire conditions in the congested city, including insufficiencies of food, water, and medication.

Mahmoud Abbas, the president of Palestine based in the West Bank, stated on Monday that an Israeli invasion of Rafah would be the “greatest catastrophe in the history of the Palestinian people.

On Monday, Reuters was informed by Israeli sources that in the event of a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas, intentions to launch an assault on Rafah would be abandoned in favor of a “sustained period of calm.”

Israel Katz, the foreign minister of Israel, stated on Israeli Channel 12 television a few days prior that “we will suspend the [Rafah] operation if an agreement is reached.”

On the contrary, Mr. Netanyahu maintained on Tuesday that the conflict would persist until Israel accomplished every objective in Rafah.

He stated unequivocally that the notion of terminating the conflict before its completion is implausible.

“With or without an agreement, we will enter Rafah and eliminate the Hamas battalions there in order to achieve a decisive victory,” read a statement from the office of Mr. Netanyahu.

The families reportedly urged the prime minister and his national security adviser, Tzachi Hanegbi, to disregard mounting international pressure and continue the conflict. However, numerous hostage families have publicly protested to the government, demanding that they reach an agreement in which their loved ones are returned at any expense.

Unaccounted for are approximately 130 of the 253 detainees that Hamas abducted during its unprecedented assault on Israel on October 7. There are at least 34 presumed deceased. All but a few have been rescued or released.

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Despite weeks of unsuccessful indirect negotiations, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed optimism on Monday that Hamas would accept Israel’s “extraordinarily generous offer” for a ceasefire.

In the interim, the director of the United Nations refugee agency has issued a dire warning that the imminent invasion is inducing “constant traumatic stress disorder” among the inhabitants of Rafah.

Philippe Lazzarini told reporters, “People have not yet been asked to evacuate Rafah, but there is a sense that if no agreement is reached this week, that could occur.”

On the ground, my colleagues are characterizing an ongoing state of trauma among the populace.

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