Netanyahu: Israel will invade Rafah regardless of ceasefire

Israel’s war cabinet claims that they are working at the site – one of the enemy bastions – to evacuate civilians and avoid them being trapped in the crossfire.

The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, confirmed this Saturday his plans to eliminate the Palestinian militant group Hamas and said that he will order his Army to move into the city of Rafah, south of Gaza.

“We are not going to let anyone stop us from operating in Rafah, especially those who are telling us to ‘lose the war’. We are not going to succumb to any pressure,” he declared during a press conference.

He also mentioned the ongoing talks with the militants, for the release of the hostages, and said that “even if we achieve a ceasefire, we will go into Rafah.”

He added that “victory is close”, and that only “strong military force and hard negotiations” will result in “total victory”. He then said: “We will keep doing this until we free everyone.”

The ground operation in this crowded city has raised the alarm of various countries and organizations, which warn about the situation of the more than 1.3 million Palestinians who were forced to leave their homes in recent months and came to this area looking for refuge from the conflict.

“I still have hope that a ceasefire can be reached and, meanwhile, I do not anticipate, I hope, that the Israelis will not launch a massive ground invasion. My hope and expectation is that we get this agreement on the hostages,” said the US President Joe Biden after talking with his Israeli counterpart this week.

However, Israel’s war cabinet claims that they are working at the site – one of the enemy bastions – to evacuate civilians and avoid them being trapped in the crossfire.

In his speech, Netanyahu also referred to the demands of Hamas to stop their progress and get the exchange of hostages for Palestinian prisoners, an offer that he called “delusional”.

“Obviously we are not going to agree to it. When Hamas gives up its delusional demands we will be able to advance,” he explained about the talks that have taken place recently with the mediation of Egypt, the United States and Qatar, which officials from Doha themselves admitted are far from being concluded.

On the other hand, the Israeli leader stated that, once the war is over, there will be no Palestinian State that coexists with his own.

“Under my leadership, Israel will continue to reject unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state. There would be no bigger reward for terror,” he said in this regard.

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