May 20, 2024

MediaBizNet

Complete Australian News World

The war between Israel and Hamas: Netanyahu pledges to invade Rafah “with or without a deal”

The war between Israel and Hamas: Netanyahu pledges to invade Rafah “with or without a deal”

Tel Aviv, Israel (AFP) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged on Tuesday to launch an incursion into Gaza City in the southern Gaza Strip. RafahHundreds of thousands of Palestinians are taking shelter to escape the war that has been going on for nearly seven months, at a time when ceasefire negotiations between Israel and Hamas appear to be gaining momentum.

Netanyahu's statements came hours ago US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken He was due to arrive in Israel to advance the truce talks – which appear to be one of the most serious rounds of negotiations between Israel and Hamas since the war began. The agreement aims to free the hostages, provide some relief to the population, and avoid the Israeli attack on Rafah and the potential harm to civilians there.

Netanyahu said that Israel would enter Rafah, which Israel says is the last stronghold of Hamas, regardless of whether a truce agreement is reached to release the hostages. His statements appear to be aimed at appeasing his national governing partners, but it was not clear whether they would have any impact on any agreement reached with Hamas.

Netanyahu said, according to a statement issued by his office, “The idea that we will stop the war before achieving all its goals is unthinkable.” He added: “We will enter Rafah and we will eliminate the Hamas brigades there, with or without an agreement, to achieve complete victory.”

The United States has repeatedly said it opposes the Rafah operation until Israel presents a credible plan to evacuate and protect an estimated 1.5 million people seeking shelter there.

READ  The Russian Central Bank is targeted by the White House and its allies

Blinken, who was speaking in Jordan before heading to Israel, said the “focus” now is on improving the humanitarian situation and reaching a ceasefire agreement that will return the Israeli hostages to their homeland. He said that Israel had presented a “strong proposal” and called on Hamas to respond.

“No more delays. No more excuses. Now is the time to act,” he said. “We want to see this agreement integrated in the coming days.”

Netanyahu is facing pressure from his partners in the government not to move forward with a deal that might prevent Israel from invading Rafah. His government could be threatened if he agrees to the deal because hard-line cabinet members have called for an attack on Rafah.

On Tuesday, Netanyahu met with one of those partners, National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, according to the minister’s office, who said Netanyahu promised him that “Israel will enter Rafah, promised that we will not stop the war and promised that there will not be a reckless deal.”

With more than half of Gaza's population of 2.3 million Shelter in RafahThe international community, including Israel's biggest ally, the United States, has warned Israel against any attack that would put civilians in danger.

Netanyahu was giving a speech on Tuesday Tikva Forum, a small group of hostage families that differs from the main group representing the families of Israeli prisoners. The forum indicated that it would prefer to see Hamas crushed because of the freedom of its loved ones. Most families and their supporters are demonstrating in their thousands each week for a deal that would return the hostages to their homeland, saying it should take precedence over military action.

READ  Updates on the war between Israel and Hamas: News of the Netanyahu-Blinken meeting and the latest news

Netanyahu's coalition consists of extreme nationalist and conservative religious parties, and critics of the Israeli leader say that his decision-making during the war was driven by political considerations and not national interests, which Netanyahu denies. His government could collapse if one of the parties opposing the agreement withdraws, a scenario that Netanyahu will try to avoid given that his support has declined in opinion polls since the war began, although it has seen a slight gradual rise.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who heads the ultra-Orthodox Religious Zionist party, said Monday that he seeks the “total annihilation” of Israel’s enemies, in an apparent reference to Hamas, in a recorded portion of his remarks at an event marking the end of the Jewish Passover holiday. Which was broadcast by the Israeli media.

“You can't do half the work,” he said.

The current agreement being discussed, brokered by the United States, Egypt and Qatar, would see the release of dozens of hostages in exchange for a six-week cessation of fighting as part of an initial phase, according to an Egyptian official and Israeli media. Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel will also be released, including some serving long sentences.

Blinken, who was meeting with regional leaders in Saudi Arabia and Jordan before arriving in Tel Aviv later Tuesday, urged Hamas on Monday to accept the latest proposal, calling it “very generous” on the part of Israel.

But there remains a sticking point about what happens next. Hamas demanded guarantees that the eventual release of all hostages would put a complete end to the nearly seven-month-long Israeli attack on Gaza and the withdrawal of its forces from the devastated Strip. Israel has offered only a long pause, and has pledged to resume its offensive as soon as the first phase of the deal ends. The issue repeatedly hampered the mediators' efforts during months of talks.

READ  Russia launches another barrage of missiles and drones against Ukraine

The war broke out between Israel and Hamas because… An unprecedented raid on October 7 on southern Israel The militants killed about 1,200 people, most of them civilians, and kidnapped about 250 hostages. Israel says militants are present He still holds about 100 hostages And the remains of more than 30 others.

The war on Gaza led to the killing of more than 34,000 Palestinians. According to local health officials. The war has displaced about 80% of Gaza's 2.3 million people from their homes, caused widespread destruction in many towns and cities and displaced northern Gaza. To the brink of starvation.

___

Lee reported from Amman, Jordan.

Follow AP's coverage of the war on https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war