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Truce or not, will start offensive in Rafah: Benjamin Netanyahu

Truce or not, will start offensive in Rafah: Benjamin Netanyahu

Jerusalem: No matter if there is or isn’t a truce deal with Hamas, Israeli forces will carry out a ground operation on Gaza’s southern city of Rafah, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday. The City of Rafah houses a rough estimated 1.5 million people, and most of them are displaced refugees from other parts of Gaza.

Netanyahu said that the idea that Israel stops the war before achieving all of its “goals” is out of the question, Agence France-Presse reported.

He said that his forces would enter Rafah and eliminate the Hamas battalions there, with or without a true deal. This is in order to achieve total victory, he claimed. His statement comes when severe protests are going on in Israel, mainly those staged by the relatives of those who were taken hostage by Hamas last October.

However, Hamas was pushing for a truce deal, which was proposed by the Cairo talks with the US, Egypt, and Qatar. The talks are intended for an end to fighting in Gaza, where the situation is dire.

Hamas has informed that it was considering a plan for a 40-day ceasefire and exchange of many of the hostages for a large number of Palestinian prisoners. A Hamas source told AFP that it would discuss the ideas and proposals and that the group would be keen to respond as quickly as possible.

Earlier, AFP learned from sources in Egypt that Hamas envoys will return to Cairo with a written response, while an Israeli official told AFP that Jerusalem will wait for answers until Wednesday night. After Hamas’s response, they will decide whether to send negotiators to Cairo again.

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TAGS:Benjamin NetanyahuWorld newsRafahGaza war
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