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IDF to attack Rafah during Ramadan if hostage deal not reached: Israeli Minister

IDF to attack Rafah during Ramadan if hostage deal not reached: Israeli Minister

Tel Aviv: The Israel Minister without portfolio and member of War Cabinet in the government, Benny Gantz has said that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) was prepared for a military operation in Rafah during the month of Ramadan if a hostage deal is not successful.

In a statement on Wednesday, Gantz said, "If there is no hostage deal, we will operate during Ramadan."

The Minister, who was the former Chief of Armed staff, however, said that there were signs of a hostage deal coming through.

Gantz said, "There are attempts these days to promote a new framework (for a deal) and there are initial signs that indicate the possibility of moving forward."

He also added that the Israeli government would not miss any opportunity to bring the hostages home and added that the IDF was indeed preparing for a military operation in Rafah, which would commence only after the Palestinian civilians were evacuated from the region.

Also Read: Despite over 30,000 deaths, US opposes Israeli forces' withdrawal from Gaza in ICJ

Gantz also said that such an evacuation was necessary for the IDF to move against the Hamas forces in that area.

The US President's top advisor to the Middle East, Brett McGurk, was in the region to hold talks in Egypt and Israel as part of a push to close a deal that could see a pause in the fighting by the start of the month-long Ramadan holiday.

A top delegation of Hamas led by its political head, Ismail Haniyeh, is in Cairo for mediatory talks for a ceasefire during the Holy month of Ramadan, which is likely to commence on March 10.

The US has also reportedly appealed to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against an order for Israel’s immediate withdrawal of its forces from the war-torn Gaza Strip.

With agency inputs

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TAGS:GazaWorld NewsIsrael Palestine ConflictIDFHostage deal
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