Netanyahu Declares Battle for Rafah Critical in War Against Hamas

World | May 17, 2024, Friday // 09:16|  views

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has emphasized the critical importance of the battle for Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip for Israel, which has been engaged in a war against Hamas for over seven months.

"The battle that began on May 7 is crucial for determining many aspects of this campaign," Netanyahu said in an address to soldiers stationed in the Rafah area. He mentioned that the battle targets not only the remaining Hamas battalions but also their escape and supply routes.

Netanyahu described this as a "difficult moment," following the announcement that five Israeli soldiers had been killed by Israeli tank fire in a building in the northern part of Gaza, an area experiencing intense fighting in recent days.

"Your efforts are crucial to bringing this battle to a close. Ending this battle will be a significant step toward defeating the enemy," Netanyahu added.

His remarks come amid public disagreements within his military cabinet regarding the post-war administration of Gaza.

Defense Minister Yoav Galant stated, "We must dismantle Hamas's governance capabilities in Gaza. Achieving this goal requires military action and the establishment of an alternative governing body in Gaza." Galant warned that without such an alternative, the only remaining options would be Hamas rule or Israeli military rule in Gaza, the latter of which he opposes and has urged Netanyahu to officially reject.

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Tags: Hamas, Israel, Palestine, Netanyahu

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