May 22, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Gaza: Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu says the Rafah attack will happen regardless of the agreement

Gaza: Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu says the Rafah attack will happen regardless of the agreement

Comment on the photo, Benjamin Netanyahu has long warned that Israel will invade Rafah

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel will launch an invasion of the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, regardless of truce talks with Hamas.

This comes amid ongoing attempts to try to reach a ceasefire agreement and release the hostages.

But Netanyahu said during a meeting with relatives of the hostages that he would invade Israel “with or without an agreement.”

His comments come in the wake of renewed warnings by the United States against invading Rafah unless civilians are provided with proper protection.

A White House statement said that US President Joe Biden confirmed in a phone call with Netanyahu on Sunday his “clear position” regarding Rafah. Biden had previously described the Rafah invasion as a “red line.”

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Tuesday that the attack on Rafah would be an “unbearable escalation,” and appealed to “all those with influence over Israel to do everything in their power to prevent it.”

More than half of Gaza's 2.5 million people live in Rafah, having fled there to escape the fighting in other parts of the Strip. Conditions in the densely populated city are dire, and displaced people there report shortages of food, water and medicine.

West Bank-based Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday that the Rafah invasion would be “the biggest disaster in the history of the Palestinian people.”

Days earlier, Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz told Channel 12 on Israeli television that “if there is an agreement, we will suspend the negotiations.” [Rafah] practical”.

But Netanyahu insisted on Tuesday that the war will continue until Israel achieves all its goals in Rafah.

He added, “The idea of ​​stopping the war before achieving all its goals is unthinkable.”

A statement issued by Netanyahu's office said, “We will enter Rafah and eliminate the Hamas brigades there, with or without an agreement, to achieve complete victory.”

She said that the families urged the Prime Minister and his National Security Advisor, Tzachi Hanegbi, to continue the war and ignore increasing international pressure. However, many hostage families demonstrated publicly before the government to agree to a deal to return their loved ones at any cost.

The fate of about 130 of the 253 hostages kidnapped by Hamas during its unprecedented attack on Israel on October 7 remains unknown. At least 34 of them are presumed dead. The rest were released or rescued.

Indirect talks have been deadlocked for weeks, although US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday that he hoped Hamas would accept what he called Israel's “very generous offer” for a truce.

Meanwhile, the head of the UN refugee agency warned that the impending invasion was leaving people in Rafah living in a state of “persistent post-traumatic stress disorder.”

“My colleagues on the ground talk about the constant state of shock among people.”

Netanyahu also denounced recent reports, citing Israeli officials, that the International Criminal Court in The Hague may be preparing to issue arrest warrants for Israeli government and military leaders on charges related to a “scandal on a historic scale.” war.

“I want to make one thing clear: No decision, neither in The Hague nor anywhere else, will affect our determination to achieve all the war objectives,” the Prime Minister said.

“Israel expects the leaders of the free world to come out forcefully against this scandalous move, a move that would harm the self-defense capacity of not only the State of Israel, but of all democracies in the world.”

There was no announcement from the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan Kavkaz Center.

However, his office has been officially investigating alleged war crimes in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip since June 2014, and Khan confirmed that the investigation will cover the October 7 attack and the war that followed.

Israel has never ratified the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the ICC, and Netanyahu has insisted that the ICC has “no authority” over the country. However, the ICC ruled in 2015 that it had jurisdiction because the Palestinians had ratified the treaty.