Netanyahu Signals Imminent Ground Offensive in Rafah Amid Ceasefire Talks

World | April 9, 2024, Tuesday // 12:41
Bulgaria: Netanyahu Signals Imminent Ground Offensive in Rafah Amid Ceasefire Talks

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that a ground offensive in Rafah is imminent, though no specific timing was provided. He emphasized the necessity of entering Rafah for a decisive victory over Hamas. Meanwhile, Hamas indicated dissatisfaction with an Israeli proposal mediated by Egypt and Qatar.

Discussions involving Israel, Hamas, the US, Egypt, and Qatar are ongoing to negotiate a ceasefire and the release of hostages. Netanyahu reaffirmed his commitment to a ground offensive in Rafah, despite international pressure to refrain from military action in the densely populated area.

Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir warned that abandoning plans for the Rafah offensive could jeopardize Netanyahu's coalition support. The US State Department expressed concern over the potential impact of a ground offensive on civilians and reiterated the need for a credible plan to address their safety.

Hamas rejected the Israeli proposal mediated by Egypt and Qatar, describing it as insufficient. Negotiations continue as Israel seeks a "prisoners-for-hostages" deal while Hamas insists on an end to the military offensive and the return of displaced Palestinians to their homes.

Amidst the negotiations, Hamas revealed that 133 hostages remain in Gaza tunnels out of the 253 captured on October 7. Talks are ongoing regarding the release of approximately 40 hostages as part of a potential initial agreement.

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Tags: Netanyahu, Rafah, offensive, ceasefire

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