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Israel to continue operation against Hamas in Gaza Strip, will operate in Rafah - Netanyahu

Israel to continue operation against Hamas in Gaza Strip, will operate in Rafah - Netanyahu Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (photo: Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the military campaign against the Hamas group in the Gaza Strip will continue. The IDF will also conduct a ground operation in the city of Rafah.

According to the head of the Israeli government, during a speech at a cabinet meeting on Sunday, March 17, ceasefire negotiations should resume, and until then, the military operation will continue.

"We will operate in Rafah. It will take several weeks, and it will happen," he said, without specifying whether he was talking about the duration of the offensive or announcing its start.

Netanyahu also criticized pressure from allies to abandon the invasion of Rafah, which is a large Palestinian enclave.

"Are your memories that short? Have you so quickly forgotten October 7, the most horrific massacre of Jews since the Holocaust? Are you so quick to deny Israel the right to defend itself against the Hamas monsters?" - he said.

Netanyahu also assured that Israel has a plan to evacuate civilians from Rafah.

Israel's war with Hamas and the situation in the Gaza Strip

Hamas militants massively attacked Israel from the Gaza Strip on October 7, 2023. After that, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) launched a ground military operation in the Gaza Strip in late October, which continues to this day. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that the goal of the operation was the complete destruction of Hamas and the release of hostages.

He also noted that the complete victory of the Israeli army is close and announced that the IDF is ready to launch a ground invasion of the city of Rafah near the border with Egypt in the south of the Gaza Strip. Against this background, Egypt is threatening to suspend a key peace treaty with Israel if the country's army enters Rafah.

It was also reported that on March 12, a representative of the Hamas militants said that the group had adopted an amended version of the American proposal for a ceasefire in Gaza. Representatives of the movement were planning to travel to Cairo in the coming days to discuss the final details and implementation of the agreement.

Earlier, Bloomberg reported that a ceasefire agreement between Hamas and Israel remains unattainable. US President Joe Biden warned Israel against invading the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu recently rejected another version of a truce agreement with Hamas.

According to Western media, Israel has approved a plan for a potential attack on the city of Rafah in the Gaza Strip. At the same time, Tel Aviv retains hope for a ceasefire and negotiations with Hamas on the release of hostages.