Rafah Invasion Countdown Begins: Netanyahu Sets Date

Rafah Invasion Countdown Begins: Netanyahu Sets Date

A date for the Israeli military’s invasion of Rafah has been announced, according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who claimed that the attack of the southern city was necessary for victory.

In a video message uploaded on X, Netanyahu stated, “Today I received a detailed report on the talks in Cairo. We are constantly working to achieve our goals, first and foremost the release of all our hostages and achieving a complete victory over Hamas.”

“This victory requires entry into Rafah and the elimination of the terrorist battalions there. It will happen, there is a date,” he further added.

President Biden and other White House officials have warned against invading Rafah, but Netanyahu has stated for weeks that Israeli forces were expected to do so shortly.

It is reported that 1.4 million residents have fled their homes in northern Gaza as directed by Israel and are taking sanctuary in Rafah.

In order to enable Israeli soldiers to hunt down Hamas militants responsible for the 1,200 deaths on October 7 and the hostage-taking of hundreds, Israel ordered the evacuations earlier this year. Last Monday, Netanyahu declared that Israel intends to enter Rahah, whether or not the US supports them.

His statement coincides with mounting pressure on Israel from Washington and other Western countries regarding its military actions in Gaza, which the Associated Press reports have resulted in the deaths of 33,200 Palestinians.

Six World Central Kitchen employees and their Palestinian driver were killed last week in an Israeli airstrike while they were leaving a facility in central Gaza.

When the strike occurred, the crew had recently delivered over 100 tons of food aid and was traveling in armored vehicles bearing the World Central Kitchen insignia.

Following the attack, Biden delivered his most severe critique of Netanyahu, announcing that going forward, Israel’s “immediate” actions to alleviate a “unacceptable” humanitarian situation will dictate U.S. policy regarding the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza. Since the conflict started in October of last year, Biden and his team have changed significantly since having this chat.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have been withdrawing troops from Gaza, which has drawn criticism from Netanayahu by far-right ministers Itamar Ben Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Netanyahu will “cease to have a mandate to serve as prime minister” if he concludes Israel’s conflict with Hamas without attacking Hamas in Rafah, according to Israel’s Minister of National Security, Ben-Gvir, as reported by the Jerusalem Post.

According to reports, Smotrich urged Netanyahu to organize a meeting of Israel’s National Security Cabinet, which has the authority to decide on war strategy, in a letter sent on Monday.

According to the White House, Biden also pushed the Israeli prime minister toward a cease-fire agreement last week that would result in the release of the last detainees in Gaza and a halt to hostilities in the war-torn region.

The sides involved in the cease-fire negotiations have reached a basic understanding, according to Reuters, which cited Egypt’s state-affiliated TV channel Al-Qahera News. The talks were continuing on Monday in Cairo, Egypt.