Friday, June 14, 2024

“War on Rafah will continue all year,” signals Netanyahu’s advisor

Tzachi Hanegbi, Israel’s National Security Advisor, said that the war on Gaza would likely continue all year.

“The fighting in Rafah is not a pointless war, it will continue throughout 2024 at least,” the closest associate of PM Netanyahu stated, reiterating that the aim was to end Hamas rule in Gaza and stop it and its allies attacking Israel.

The statement came as Israel sent more tanks on raids into Rafah on Wednesday. 

Meanwhile, authorities in Washington backed its loyal ally saying the assault did not amount to a “major ground operation” enough to trigger a change in the US foreign policy. 

Despite an order from the International Court of Justice to end the invasion, Israeli tanks moved into the heart of Rafah on Tuesday, where hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinians had taken refuge from widespread bombardment.

According to a Reuters report, Rafah residents said the tanks had pushed into Tel Al-Sultan in western Rafah and Yibna and near Shaboura in the centre before retreating towards a buffer zone on the border with Egypt.

“We received distress calls from residents in Tel Al-Sultan where drones targeted displaced citizens as they moved from areas where they were staying toward the safe areas,” Haitham al Hams, the deputy director of ambulance and emergency services in Rafah, said.

“There is no indication the Rafah border crossing would be reopened for aid any time soon,” Palestinian Health Minister Majed Abu Ramadan said as Tel Aviv has intensified its brutal onslaught.

On the other hand, the Israeli military has been continuously justifying the massacres in Rafah as means to prevent Hamas from smuggling in weapons. 

The occupation forces, which claim to have taken control of three major quarters of the buffer zone on the Egyptian border, reportedly aim to control all of it. 

The statements of the Israeli government officials as well as the military superiors signal that Israel was not at all ready to end the war as demanded by Hamas, as part of a deal that would see the exchange of hostages held for Palestinian prisoners.

Mediator Qatar was expected to pass on Israel’s latest ceasefire and hostage release proposal to Hamas on Tuesday, a person familiar with the issue said. 

However, Hamas has made it clear that the talks are pointless unless Israel ends its offensive on Rafah.

Palestinian health officials revealed that most of the only functioning stores of aid were set ablaze by the occupation army. Residents said constant Israeli bombardment destroyed many homes in the area. 

Some residents reported seeing what they described as unmanned robotic armoured vehicles opening fire from machine guns in parts of the city.

Internet and mobile signals went down in parts of both east and west as Israel attacked, the pro-Hamas Shehab news agency said in a report. The Israeli military said it could not confirm the reports.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 36,171 Palestinians have been killed, and 81,420 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

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