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Netanyahu Says Israel Has Date to Enter Rafah Amid Hostage Negotiations

The United States has warned Israel multiple times against invading Rafah.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that the Israel Defense Forces plan to enter the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip as his country continues negotiations to free the approximately 130 people being held captive by terrorists in Gaza.

The United States has warned Israel multiple times against invading Rafah, where multiple Hamas battalions are believed to be located.

Netanyahu said he received a report on hostage negotiations in Cairo, Egypt, on Monday. Although the date of the Rafah invasion is unclear, it comes after the Israel Defense Forces withdrew all ground troops from the southern Gaza Strip on Sunday.

"We are working constantly to attain our objectives, first and foremost the release of all of our hostages and the achieving of total victory over Hamas," he said in Hebrew in a video posted on X, formerly Twitter. "This victory requires entering Rafah and eliminating the terrorist battalions there. This will happen; there is a date."

The hostages have been held captive since Oct. 7, 2023, when Hamas and other terror groups entered Israel and killed about 1,200 people and kidnapped 240 others. About 100 hostages were freed last year during a temporary ceasefire, and negotiations for a new ceasefire deal have been going on for several months.

CIA Director Bill Burns on Sunday reportedly presented a deal in Cairo that would allow 40 hostages to be released in return for a six-week ceasefire, per Axios.

Related Story: More Than 80% of Israelis Support Rafah Operation in Gaza Despite U.S. Opposition: Poll

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