Netanyahu Reaffirms Decision To Launch An Offensive Against Rafah

by Vern Evans

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reaffirmed his determination to launch an offensive in Rafah, defying international criticism, some of which is coming from allies. “If we stop the war now before achieving all of its goals, the meaning is that Israel had lost the war and we will not allow this,” Netanyahu told a meeting of his cabinet.

Netanyahu continues to double down saying that the goal is to eliminate Hamas in its entirety. In order to do this, he said Israel must be able to continue its war, forcing Hamas to release all hostages and ensuring Gaza “no longer poses a threat.” That means that “we will also operate in Rafah,” he said.

According to a report by the BBC, the city is crammed with some 1.5 million Palestinians from other parts of Gaza seeking refuge from the war.

Netanyahu said the offensive in the city at the southern tip of the Gaza Strip “will happen” and will take “several weeks”.

He also lashed out at his critics, saying to them: “Is your memory so short?

“So quickly you forgot about [7 October], the worst massacre committed against Jews since the Holocaust.”

Those attacks, in which about 1,200 people were killed and more than 250 were taken hostage from Israel, sparked the current war. –BBC

The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza claims that more than 31,400 Palestinians have been killed.

German chancellor Olaf Scholz expressed his opposition to Israel’s plan to attack Rafah while on a Middle East trip, on Sunday. While speaking to reporters in a joint news conference Scholz said he spoke to Netanyahu about the need to provide those in Gaza with “comprehensive humanitarian aid supplies”. He stressed that conditions for aid distribution “must be urgently and massively improved”.

Israel-Hamas War Intensifies As Humanitarian Crisis Worsens

The German ruler said he told his Israeli counterpart that a “humanitarian logic” should be considered ahead of a ground offensive in Rafah. Netanyahu replied:  “[Israel’s] goal in eliminating the remaining terrorist battalions in Rafah goes hand in hand with enabling the civilian population to leave Rafah”.

Basically, regardless of opposition, Israel intends to continue and expand the already devastating war. Should the expansion continue, we could see a larger conflict spread.

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