Published On: Tue, Apr 9th, 2024

Israel vows to eliminate Hamas in Rafah despite US warning

Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to ‘eliminate’ the Hamas brigades, including in the southern Gaza city of Rafah. The development comes despite warnings from the United States that Israel risked further global isolation if Rafah was attacked.

There is no force in the world that will stop us

“Israel will complete the elimination of Hamas’ brigades, including in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, and nothing will prevent this”, Netanyahu said.

“There is no force in the world that will stop us. There are many forces that are trying to do so, but it will not help, since this enemy, after what it did, will never do it again,” the Israeli Prime Minister asserted.

In its reaction to Netanyahu’s latest statement on Tuesday, the US further contended that an invasion of Rafah would be a ‘mistake’, demanding that a credible plan to protect civilians be put in place.

Rafah shelters around 1.4 million Palestinians, most of whom are displaced from other parts of the war-torn Strip. “It will happen. There is a date,” Netanyahu vowed, without providing any further details.

Last month, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Benjamin Netanyahu that Israel risked further global isolation if it attacked the Palestinian city of Rafah in the Gaza Strip.

The US made these remarks during a one-on-one interaction between Blinken and Netanyahu. “We share Israel’s goal of defeating Hamas… though, a major military ground operation in Rafah is not the way to do it,” Blinken told reporters in Tel Aviv.

“It risks killing more civilians, it risks wreaking greater havoc on the provision of humanitarian assistance, it risks further isolating Israel around the world and jeopardising its long-term security and standing,” Blinken added.

Netanyahu’s remarks came amid Israeli negotiators in Cairo discussing international efforts to broker a truce with Hamas.

Israeli troops withdrew on Sunday from another southern Gaza city of Khan Younis. Palestinians, who visited Khan Younis on Monday, said the city is now unlivable, leaving them little hope to return.

Defence officials said they were regrouping ahead of a push into Rafah.

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