‘There is a date’ – Netanyahu Vows to Press Ahead with Rafah Invasion 

Israel's National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Itamar Ben-Gvir on Monday threatened to overthrow the government if Netanyahu ends the war on Gaza without attacking Rafah.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said a date has been set for a ground invasion of the southern Gaza town of Rafah, where roughly 1.5 million displaced Palestinians are sheltering.

“It will happen. There is a date,” Netanyahu said in a video statement on Monday.

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His statement coincides with the latest round of truce negotiations in Cairo, Egypt, in which the Palestinian Resistance Movement Hamas said Israel’s position “remains obstinate.”

Ben-Gvir’s Threats

Israel’s National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir on Monday threatened to overthrow the government if Netanyahu ends the war on Gaza without attacking Rafah.

“If the Prime Minister decides to end the war without an extensive attack on Rafah in order to defeat Hamas, he will not have a mandate to continue serving as Prime Minister,” Ben-Gvir posted on X.

Public pressure has been growing in Israel for Netanyahu to reach a hostage deal with the Resistance, with thousands protesting on the streets.

Israel’s military brigades stationed in the southern city of Khan Younis, withdrew on Sunday, described by Tel Aviv as part of preparations for potential further operations, particularly in Rafah.

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‘Absolute Catastrophe’

Israel has repeatedly been warned against a Rafah invasion by world bodies and humanitarian organizations.

The secretary general of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said last month that “Clearly any ground invasion into Rafah would be an absolute catastrophe, it doesn’t bear thinking about, it would be disaster upon disaster.”

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‘We Don’t Support Major Ground Operation’

The US, Israel’s closest ally, has pushed for a credible plan to protect civilians ahead of such a ground offensive. Last week, a US official reportedly said the administration was yet to see such a plan.

At the same time, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus,  appealed to Israel not to proceed with its planned ground assault on Rafah, warning that it would lead to more deaths and suffering.

“Further escalation of violence in this densely populated area would lead to many more deaths and suffering, especially with health facilities already overwhelmed.”

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Rising Death Toll

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, 33,207 Palestinians have been killed, and 75,933 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in the enclave.

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

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

(PC, Anadolu)

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