Delays, Pressures, Israeli Government Split – What We Know about Israel’s Planned Rafah Invasion

Kirby said that Israel has assured the US that it will not proceed with an operation in Rafah until American perspectives have been communicated. (Design: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz announced on Saturday that a planned military operation in Rafah could be suspended if a hostage deal is reached with Hamas.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed to heed US concerns before any potential invasion of Rafah, White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said on Sunday.

Speaking to ABC, Kirby said that Israel has assured the US that it will not proceed with an operation in Rafah until American perspectives and concerns have been thoroughly communicated.

“They’ve assured us that they won’t go into Rafah until we’ve had a chance to really share our perspectives and our concerns with them,” Kirby told ABC.

A senior Israeli defense official reportedly revealed last Wednesday that Israel’s military is preparing to evacuate Palestinian civilians from the southernmost city of Rafah and invade the area, despite global warnings about the risk of a humanitarian catastrophe.

Pentagon Still Wary of Israel’s Plans – Will Israel Invade Rafah?

Reuters news agency reported that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is scheduled to visit the region next week, with Kirby emphasizing that efforts to secure a temporary ceasefire, lasting at least six weeks, will continue.

Additionally, a delegation from the Palestinian Resistance Movement Hamas is reportedly set to visit Cairo on Monday for discussions aimed at achieving a ceasefire, as confirmed by a Hamas official to Reuters.

“What we’re hoping is that after six weeks of a temporary ceasefire, we can maybe get something more enduring in place,” Kirby said, according to Reuters.

‘Beyond Warfare’ – UN Rights Chief Decries Israeli Strikes on Rafah

Split in Israeli Government 

Meanwhile, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz announced on Saturday that a planned military operation in Rafah could be suspended if a prisoner exchange deal is reached with Hamas, Israeli media reported. 

Katz made the statement to Israeli broadcaster Channel 12, responding to a video released by the Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ armed wing, featuring two Israeli captives calling for a deal to secure their release.

In a similar vein, Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid voiced support for prioritizing a prisoner exchange deal over continuing the war on Gaza, Anadolu news agency reported.

‘Solution Needed’ – Displaced in Rafah Face Uncollected Garbage and Health Risks

However, reports emerged on Saturday indicating that Israeli far-right ministers, including Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, threatened Netanyahu with a government overthrow unless an attack on Rafah proceeds.

According to Israeli public broadcaster KAN, Smotrich and Ben-Gvir warned of withdrawing from the government if a ground invasion of Rafah does not occur.

Rafah has become the last refuge for more than 1.4 million Palestinians after their displacement from the northern and central Gaza Strip in an attempt to escape Israel’s genocidal war.

Gaza Genocide

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7. 

 According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 34,454 Palestinians have been killed, and 77,575 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

Israel Will Attack Rafah, but Will Still Lose the War – ANALYSIS

The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children. 

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

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1 Comment

  1. I think that the USA and other countries are putting pressure on Nethanyahu because he is begging not to be arrested by the International Criminal Court. These countries will do everything they can to prevent Netanyahu’s arrest on the condition that he does not enter Rafah. That is why he is willing to compromise!

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