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Despite Concerns from Allies Netanyahu Committed to Entering Rafah

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with members of Israel's Nitzan 636 Battalion on March 14, 2024. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with members of Israel’s Nitzan 636 Battalion on March 14, 2024. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a gathering of soldiers on Thursday that offensive operations will eventually commence in Rafah, despite criticism from some of his country’s allies.

While visiting with members of an intelligence battalion, the 74-year-old leader informed them that “While you and the IDF are preparing to continue fighting, there is international pressure to keep us from entering Rafah and finishing the job. As prime minister of Israel, I am deflecting these pressures, and I will continue to do so.”

Israel’s defense establishment has maintained throughout the five-month war with the Hamas terrorist organization that nothing short of the group’s complete dismantlement is acceptable. Officials have identified Rafah as their last major stronghold, and therefore it must be secured.

Fearing civilian casualties as the result of an attempt to maneuver in the warzone, the U.S. has demanded assurances that all collateral damage be mitigated. The are reportedly more than 1 million displaced persons currently residing in the areas in and around the border-municipality.

White House officials told Politico on Monday that President Joe Biden would consider conditioning military assistance to the Jewish state if they implemented the planned offensive without his administration’s approval.

Jerusalem has responded to the concerns with plans to ensure the safety of noncombatants and improve the delivery of humanitarian supplies to the area. Adm. Daniel Hagari told reporters that the IDF plans to work with international aid providers to transfer the local populace to demilitarized areas that will be adequately provisioned with food, shelter, and medical facilities.

Related Story: Netanyahu Says Israel Will Defy Biden’s ‘Red Line’ on Rafah

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