Netanyahu greenlights Rafah attack despite international concerns

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Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu defies international warnings to proceed with plans for a military strike on Rafah in the Gaza Strip

Netanyahu greenlights Rafah attack despite international concerns

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave the green light to operational plans for an assault on Rafah city, situated in the southernmost region of the Gaza Strip adjacent to Egypt on Sunday evening.

Netanyahu asserted that Rafah represents the "last stronghold of Hamas" and remains adamant about launching the attack, notwithstanding escalating regional and international warnings regarding the potentially catastrophic repercussions of such an assault.

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Rafah is home to approximately 1.4 million Palestinians, the majority of whom have been displaced due to intensified Israeli army bombardments over the past six months.

"We have approved the operational plans to invade Rafah," the Israeli premier said at a news conference before undergoing hernia surgery on Sunday evening.

"The information obtained by our fighters in Al-Shifa (hospital) helps us identify the location of the 'militants'," Netanyahu claimed.

'Despite US President, we will enter the Rafah'

Netanyahu approves Rafah attack plans despite international warnings

"We will enter Rafah and eliminate Hamas, and without that, there is no victory," he further insisted.

Despite opposition from U.S. President Joe Biden and concerns over civilian casualties, Netanyahu stated: "The government is working to evacuate residents before invading Rafah."

Responding to accusations regarding his handling of the case involving Israeli hostages in Gaza, Netanyahu refuted claims, stating: "Anyone who says that I do not do everything to release the detainees is wrong and misleading."

Addressing calls from the opposition for early elections, he argued that such a move would "mean paralyzing the state and postponing the opportunity to conclude a (hostage swap) deal for (another) six months."

Netanyahu in ‘excellent’ health after hernia surgery

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, and Justice Minister Yariv Levin attend a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, in February 2023.
Yariv Levin, left, stepped in for the Prime Minister while he was incapacitated.

Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister’s Office announced Netanyahu underwent hernia surgery under general anesthesia, with Justice Minister Yariv Levin temporarily assuming his duties.

During a news conference in Jerusalem, Netanyahu expressed optimism about the surgery's outcome, stating his intention to return to work "very quickly."

Alon Pikarsky, the hospital’s director of general surgery, declared Netanyahu to be in "excellent" health post-surgery, with the procedure concluding successfully. Netanyahu is awake, conversing with his family, and in perfect condition, according to Pikarsky.

Source: Newsroom

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