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Israel’s war cabinet decides to proceed with military operation in Rafah

May 7, 2024 at 8:36 am

Israel’s war cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (3rd R), holds a meeting in Tel Aviv, Israel on April 14, 2024 [Israeli Government Press Office – Anadolu Agency]

Israel’s war cabinet yesterday agreed to proceed with the military operation in Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah, despite international and UN warnings that such action would be a “massacre”.

According to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office, the war cabinet met to discuss Hamas’s acceptance of terms of a truce, claiming a senior Israeli official said in a media briefing that there was talk of a “watered-down” Egyptian version of a ceasefire deal which Israel had not seen before.

The statement issued by Netanyahu’s office stated: “The war cabinet unanimously decided that Israel would continue the [military] operation in Rafah to exert military pressure on Hamas in order to promote the release of the hostages and achieve the other goals of the war.”

“In coincidence with this, Israel will send a delegation of mediators to exhaust the possibility of reaching an agreement on terms acceptable to Israel,” it added.

The statement noted that “Hamas’s proposal is far from Israel’s basic requirements.”

While the Israeli negotiating team was still working on “studying” the proposal that Hamas had agreed to yesterday, Israeli government officials refused to reach any agreement that might lead to an end to the bombing campaign in Gaza and called for a prompt invasion of the city of Rafah.

READ: Palestinians flee eastern Rafah amid Israel plans to invade