Why does Israel insist on launching an attack on Rafah?

Jerusalem (AFP) – Israel is determined to launch a ground offensive against Hamas in Rafah, the southernmost part of the Gaza Strip, a plan that has been implemented Raised the global alarm Because of the potential to harm hundreds of thousands of people Civilians taking shelter there.

prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu It says Israel cannot achieve its goal of achieving “complete victory” against it agitation Without entering Rafah.

Israel approved military plans for its attack. But with 1.4 million Palestinians crowded into the city, Israel's allies, including the United States, have demanded greater care for civilians in its expected incursion.

Most of these Palestinians have been displaced by fighting in other parts of Gaza and live in overcrowded camps, overcrowded UN-run shelters or in overcrowded apartments.

Netanyahu is Send a delegation to Washington To present the administration to its plans.

Why is Rafah so important?

Since Israel declared war In response to Hamas' deadly cross-border attack on October 7, Netanyahu said the main goal was to destroy the Islamist group's military capabilities.

Israel says that Rafah is the last major stronghold of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, after operations elsewhere led to the dismantling of 18 of the movement’s 24 battalions, according to the army. But even in northern Gaza, the first target of the attack is Hamas They regrouped in some areas They continued to launch attacks.

Israel says that Hamas has four brigades in Rafah and that it must send ground forces to overthrow it. It is also possible that some top militants are hiding in the city.

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Why is there so much opposition to the Israeli plan?

The United States urged Israel not to carry out the operation without a “credible” plan to evacuate civilians. Egypt, Israel's strategic partner, said that any move to push the Palestinians into Egypt would threaten the four-decade-long peace agreement with Israel.

In a phone call with Netanyahu this week, Pres Joe Biden White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that the US President asked the Israeli leader not to carry out the Rafah operation. He said the United States was seeking an “alternative approach” that would not involve a ground invasion.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is making his sixth visit to the region since the war began, reiterated these concerns in an interview with Saudi Arabia's Al Hadath TV channel on Wednesday.

“President Biden has been very clear that we cannot support a major ground operation, a military operation in Rafah,” Blinken said. He said there was no effective way to move 1.4 million people to safety and that those who remained behind “would be in terrible danger.”

It does not appear that Israel is close to sending troops

Netanyahu said he would send a delegation to Washington “out of respect” for Biden. But he said in a statement on Wednesday that he told Biden that Israel “cannot complete victory” without entering Rafah.

Despite the tough talk, Israel does not appear to be close to sending troops to Rafah. This may be related to ongoing attempts to broker a temporary ceasefire. Qatari mediators say that these talks will be setback due to the invasion of Rafah.

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There are also logistical concerns.

The Israeli army says it plans to direct civilians to… “Human Islands” In central Gaza before the planned attack. Netanyahu said on Wednesday that evacuation plans had not yet been approved.


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