War in Gaza: Netanyahu announces “major” military operation in Rafah

Abroad War in the Middle East

Netanyahu announced a “major” military operation in Rafah

The video reportedly shows Hamas leader Shinwar in the Gaza Strip after the attack on Israel

Israeli soldiers say they have found the abandoned hideout of senior Hamas leader al-Shinwar in the Gaza Strip. A surveillance camera reportedly shows him fleeing with his family. If the photos are authentic, they will be his first since the start of the war.

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According to Benjamin Netanyahu, military pressure is the only way to free the hostages kidnapped by Hamas. He said we will fight until we win. Civilians should leave the war zone.

DDespite all the international warnings about an Israeli attack on Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced a “massive” deployment of the Israeli army to the city. “We will fight until we win, and that includes a major operation in Rafah, after we allow civilians to leave the war zone,” Netanyahu said in a statement in Hebrew on his online service, the Telegram channel, on Wednesday.

In another video statement, he reiterated that military pressure was the only way to free Israeli hostages kidnapped by Islamist Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The 112 hostages released so far have been released through “strong military pressure and firm negotiations”.

Israeli ground operations in the Gaza Strip

Source: OpenStreetMap; Infographic World

Baerbock calls for a ceasefire

During her visit to Israel, Foreign Minister Annalena Berbach called for a new ceasefire. This will open a window of opportunity to “free the hostages and receive more humanitarian assistance,” he said on Wednesday during his fifth visit to Israel.

According to their account, Israeli military action in Rafah would lead to a “humanitarian catastrophe”. 1.3 million people were waiting in a small space. “You can't go anywhere else at this point,” says Baerbach in Jerusalem. “These people cannot disappear into thin air.”

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February 12, 2024, Palestinian Territories, Rafah: Palestinian children walk among the remains of the destroyed Al-Huda Mosque after an Israeli airstrike.  Photo: Mohamed Taladene/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

Negotiations are progressing slowly

Negotiations for a new ceasefire in the Gaza war and the release of more hostages held by Islamist Hamas are currently slow. Israel and Hamas blame each other for the lack of progress. Netanyahu said on Wednesday: “No new plan has been presented to Cairo from Hamas to release our hostages.” Israel will not give in to the “illusory demands” of the Islamic establishment. “A change in Hamas' position will allow progress in negotiations.”

However, Hamas sources said that it was Israel that did not advance in the talks. A group of Hamas is based in Cairo. The “The New York TimesSenior representatives from the United States, Israel, Qatar and Egypt reportedly failed to reach an agreement at Tuesday's meeting. So the talks should continue in the coming days.

Negotiations on the exchange of hostages by Hamas and other extremist Palestinian groups, who were smuggled from Israel to the Gaza Strip on October 7 for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Other points include the duration of the ceasefire and the provision of aid to the affected population in the Gaza Strip.

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