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‘Will Only Delay Israeli Military Offensive In Rafah’, PM Netanyahu On Cease-Fire Deal

Heavy fighting continues in northern Gaza, the initial target of the offensive, resulting in staggering destruction. Residents, trapped due to heavy bombardment, face severe food shortages. Humanitarian aid delivery challenges persist, with reports indicating difficulties in providing assistance to affected regions.

Edited By : Saurav Gupta | Updated: Feb 26, 2024 09:39 IST
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‘Will Only Delay Israeli Military Offensive In Rafah’, PM Netanyahu
‘Will Only Delay Israeli Military Offensive In Rafah’, PM Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has suggested that the military offensive in Gaza’s Rafah might see a delay if a deal for a weeks-long cease-fire between Israel and Hamas is reached. Netanyahu, speaking to CBS, confirmed ongoing negotiations without providing details. Talks at the specialist level resumed in Qatar, with potential discussions in Cairo focused on achieving a cease-fire and the release of hostages.

Netanyahu – Plans to Expand Offensive to Rafah

Israel is on the verge of approving plans to extend its offensive against Hamas to Rafah, near the Gaza-Egypt border. Over half of Gaza’s population sought refuge in Rafah, raising humanitarian concerns. Rafah serves as Gaza’s main entry point for aid. The international community, including the U.S. and allies, emphasizes the need for Israel to avoid civilian harm.

Netanyahu – Cabinet Approval and Operational Plans

Netanyahu plans to convene the Cabinet for approval this week, including operational plans involving the evacuation of civilians within Gaza. He asserted that once the Rafah operation commences, the intense phase of fighting will conclude within weeks, not months, even if a deal is not reached.

International Response and Unbriefed President

U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan stated that President Joe Biden had not been briefed on the Rafah plan. Sullivan insisted that the operation should not proceed without a clear plan to protect civilians.

Humanitarian Crisis in Northern Gaza

Heavy fighting continues in northern Gaza, the initial target of the offensive, resulting in staggering destruction. Residents, trapped due to heavy bombardment, face severe food shortages. Humanitarian aid delivery challenges persist, with reports indicating difficulties in providing assistance to affected regions.

UN’s Warning on Food Aid Denied

Philippe Lazzarini, the commissioner general of the U.N. agency for Palestinians, noted that food aid delivery to northern Gaza has been impossible since January 23. He highlighted the denial of calls for food aid on social media. Israel reported allowing 245 trucks of aid into Gaza on Sunday, less than half the pre-war daily amount.

First published on: Feb 26, 2024 09:04 AM IST

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