Netanyahu Says Israel Will Invade Rafah Whether Peace Deal Happens or Not

Regardless of the outcome of the peace negotiations with Hamas, Israel will invade Rafah, a city in southern Gaza, according to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This news comes as talks to end the fighting and free the hostages continue.

Netanyahu told a gathering of relatives of the captives that he would invade regardless of the terms of any agreement.  His remarks come as America issued cautions against invading Rafah without adequate protection for civilians.

According to a statement released by the White House,  Biden reaffirmed his firm stance on Rafah during a phone conversation with the Prime Minister on April 30th.

More than one million Palestinians have sought sanctuary in the southern Gaza city of Rafah from Israel, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said that only the US can prevent Israel’s attack.

Over a million residents have sought refuge in Rafah from the violence that has engulfed the rest of the Strip. Displaced residents of the congested city have reported severe shortages in basic necessities, including water, food, and medicine.

According to Israeli sources, if a ceasefire deal could be made between Hamas and Israel, the preparations to enter Rafah would be put on hold.

An Israeli news station reported days ago that Israel’s foreign minister, Israel Katz, had said that the Rafah operation would be halted if an agreement exists.  This week, however, Netanyahu emphasized that Israel would not consider the conflict over until it had accomplished its goals in Rafah.

He said it was unrealistic to end the war before it accomplished all of its objectives.

Still, some relatives of hostages have taken to the streets in public demonstrations demanding that the government make a deal to free their loved ones however possible.

Out of the 253 hostages abducted by Hamas in their barbaric assault on Israel on October 7, 2023,  around 130 are still missing. Presumably, 34 of them have perished. Most have been either rescued or set free.

Despite weeks of deadlock in indirect negotiations, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed Monday his optimism that Hamas would accept what he has described as Israel’s very generous ceasefire offer.