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Sound Of The Expected Rafah Attack’s Reverberations

The Oasis Reporters

May 1, 2024







Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (second to the left) heads the weekly cabinet meeting at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Jan. 7.Ronen Zvulun/AFP via Getty Images


While diplomatic shuttles and negotiations are ongoing in Riyadh on the one hand and intra Palestinian parleys are also going on aimed at finding a solution towards rapprochement with Israel the government of Benjamin Netanyahu is equally facing a backlash within its own cabinet.

There are ministers who are vowing to quit the government unless Netanyahu presses forward to exact sufficient vengeance on Hama’s for daring to attack, kidnap and kill Israelis within their border.


They’ve promised an Assault on Rafah.

Here’s Foreign Policy:

Promised Rafah Assault


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged on Tuesday to launch an incursion into the southern Gaza city of Rafah “with or without a deal,” referring to ongoing cease-fire negotiations, in order to secure “total victory” over Hamas.



“The idea that we will stop the war before achieving all of its goals is out of the question,” he said.


The newest cease-fire proposal that Hamas is considering would establish a roughly 40-day truce and have the group exchange around 33 hostages being held in Gaza for numerous Palestinian prisoners.



Israel lowered the number of hostages that it is demanding be released from 40 people, partly in recognition that some have likely died in captivity.



U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Israel on Tuesday to continue talks.


Senior Israeli officials, including Foreign Minister Israel Katz, previously hinted that Israel would shelve plans to attack Rafah if a cease-fire agreement was reached.



But Netanyahu appears to have conceded to demands from far-right members of his cabinet to carry out the operation.



On Saturday, National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir threatened to withdraw from Netanyahu’s government if Israel does not invade Rafah.



Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich expressed similar sentiments on Tuesday, saying a “government that submits to international pressure, stops the war in the middle, avoids immediate entry into Rafah, and returns to Egyptian mediation proposals that leave Hamas existing in any configuration will at that moment lose its right to exist.”

Foreign leaders continue to warn Israel against launching an offensive in Rafah, where more than half of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents are currently sheltering.



Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday that an invasion would cause the “biggest catastrophe in the Palestinian people’s history.”

U.S. President Joe Biden “reiterated his clear position” on the operation during a phone call with Netanyahu on Sunday, according to a White House readout.


The readout did not elaborate on that position, but the White House has previously said it would not support a ground offensive in Rafah absent a credible Israeli plan for evacuating the estimated 1.5 million people there.


Also during Sunday’s phone call, Netanyahu reportedly asked Biden to help prevent the International Criminal Court (ICC) from issuing arrest warrants for senior Israeli officials connected to the war in Gaza.



The ICC prosecutor’s office is under pressure from nongovernmental organizations and several member nations to issue warrants against Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and Chief of the General Staff Herzi Halevi.


“Under my leadership, Israel will never accept any attempt by the ICC to undermine its inherent right of self-defense,” Netanyahu wrote on X last Friday.

Three years ago, the ICC launched an investigation into possible war crimes by both Israeli and Palestinian forces dating back to the 2014 war in Gaza.


Neither Israel nor the United States recognize the ICC’s jurisdiction.


Meanwhile, Hamas and Fatah officials met in Beijing for “in-depth and candid talks on promoting intra-Palestinian reconciliation,” Chinese authorities said on Tuesday.


Fatah is the political party that controls the Palestinian Authority (PA), which nominally governs parts of the West Bank; U.S. officials have previously suggested that the PA could help govern postwar Gaza.


Both parties convened in Russia in February but did not achieve any progress toward a unified government, with Fatah demanding that Hamas dismantle its armed wing and Hamas refusing to do so.


Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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