Israeli PM Netanyahu Approves Ground Operation in Rafah

Israeli PM Netanyahu Approves Ground Operation in Rafah

Plans for the Israeli military to launch a ground operation in the southern Gazan city of Rafah have been approved by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Israeli Defense Forces are currently “preparing for the operational side and for the evacuation of the population,” in Rafah, Netanyahu confirmed on Friday, defying urging from U.S. President Joe Biden to exercise caution.

Earlier in the week, Biden issued a warning that an Israeli military attack in the southernmost city of Gaza would cross a “red line.” He advised Israel to put the safety of civilians before any offensive.

Rafah normally has a population of roughly 172,000, but as the IDF sweeps throughout the region in reaction to the October 2023 attack by Hamas, which resulted in the deaths of over 1,110 people, residents of various parts of the Palestinian enclave have fled to the city.

Once taken hostage by the extremist group, an unidentified number of people are still missing within Gaza. About a million people are thought to live in Rafah overall.

There are roughly 2.3 million people living in Gaza.

The most recent cease-fire proposal from Hamas was likewise rejected by Netanyahu and the Israeli war cabinet in a statement released on Friday, referring to it as “unrealistic.”

The greatest residential skyscraper in the city of Rafah was struck by Israeli military forces last week, seriously damaging the fourteen-story structure.

Al-Masry Tower was being used by Hamas militants, according to the IDF, which claimed that it had “precisely targeted a military asset.”

The Israeli Prime Minister claimed to have the backing of multiple Arab nations in an interview with Axel Spring last week, albeit he would not identify them.

They acknowledge that and even tacitly concur. They realize that Hamas is a component of the terror network led by Iran,” he stated on Saturday.

According to the Palestinian Health Authority, since Israel started its military campaign in Gaza, there have been over 31,000 Palestinian deaths and over 73,300 injuries.