Spread the love

Israel intends to “intensify” its ground operations in Rafah

Photo: Agence France-Presse Palestinians displaced by the fighting walk in front of a destroyed mosque in Khan Younes on Wednesday in the Gaza Strip.

France Media Agency in Gaza

Published at 10:40 a.m. Updated at 5:48 p.m.

  • Middle East

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the battle of Rafah as “decisive” on Thursday, after announcing an “intensification” of military ground operations in this southern city of the Strip of Gaza despite international fears for the civilian population.

In the eighth month of the war opposing Israel to the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, the army says it has been carrying out around ten days of “targeted” ground operations in Rafah, accompanied by bombings, with the stated objective of annihilating the last Hamas battalions there.

The “Battle of Rafah” is “decisive,” Netanyahu said, adding that it also targets Hamas’ “loopholes and supply lines” that Israel vowed to destroy after the Islamist movement’s unprecedented attack. on October 7 against Israel, which started the war.

An Israeli military spokesman, Nadav Shoshani, claimed that “there are hostages in Rafah.” , in reference to those kidnapped during the October 7 attack. “We operate to create the conditions to bring them home. »

“Additional troops will enter” Rafah and “[military] activity will intensify,” Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said .

Flight of 600,000 people

Since the army ordered civilians to leave eastern areas of Rafah on May 6 in anticipation of a major ground offensive, “600,000 people have fled,” according to the UN. Some 1.4 million people, residents and those displaced by the fighting, were previously in this city.

Palestinians continue to leave eastern Rafah as well as other districts of the city backed by the closed border with Egypt.

Mr. Netanyahu estimated that “the humanitarian catastrophe” in Rafah, feared by the international community, had been avoided by Israel, saying that “nearly half a million people had evacuated the fighting zone.”

Entering with tanks in the eastern sector of Rafah on May 7, the army is deployed on the Palestinian side of the crossing point with Egypt, crucial for bringing in fuel, essential for operation infrastructure and humanitarian logistics.

Nothing has entered through Rafah since, and Egypt and Israel blame each other for this closure.

The Israeli army nevertheless claimed that 365 humanitarian aid trucks entered the Gaza Strip on Thursday via the Israeli-side Kerem Shalom and Erez crossings.

More aid is expected to arrive “in the coming days” after the United States docked a temporary pier at the Gaza beach, according to the US military Middle East Command (Centcom). Around 500 tonnes of aid are to be transported to Gaza via this jetty and then distributed, according to him.

But Farhan Haq, UN spokesperson, indicated that negotiations continued regarding the distribution of this aid.


The UN and NGOs regularly warn of a risk of famine in the Gaza Strip, where some 2.4 million people live, 70% of whom have been moved.

On October 7, Hamas commandos infiltrated from Gaza in southern Israel carried out an attack that resulted in the deaths of more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP report based on official data Israelis. More than 250 people were kidnapped during the attack and 128 remain captive in Gaza, of whom 38 are believed to have died, according to the army.

The vast offensive launched in response by Israel has ravaged the Gaza Strip, where 35,272 people have been killed, mostly civilians, according to a latest report from the Hamas Ministry of Health.

At least 39 additional deaths have been recorded in the last 24 hours, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health, while aerial bombardments have affected Gaza City, Jabalia (north), Nousseirat (center) in particular, according to witnesses and doctors.

The Israeli army announced the death of five soldiers killed Wednesday by “friendly fire” during fighting in Jabalia. A total of 279 Israeli soldiers have died since Israeli troops entered the Palestinian territory on October 27.

Considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States United and the European Union, Hamas took power in Gaza in 2007.

Before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, South Africa South, asking judges to order Israel to stop its incursion into Rafah, said Israel's “genocide” in Gaza had reached “a horrific level.”

Pretoria lawyers, who are calling on judges to order a ceasefire in Gaza, have kicked off two days of hearings.

“Forced Move”

Israel, which rejects the South African accusations, will respond to them on Friday. He called the case brought by Pretoria “totally unfounded.”

Meeting in Manama, the Arab summit called for an “immediate” ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and an end to “forced displacement” of Palestinians. He also called for the deployment of a UN peace force in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel.

Hamas said it “regretted” the president's criticism Palestinian Mahmoud Abbas who accused the Islamist movement of having “given pretexts” to Israel to attack the Gaza Strip.

In Tel Aviv, families of the hostages demonstrated once again Thursday evening in front of the Ministry of Defense to demand the release of their loved ones.

The Israeli army announced that two Thai agricultural workers on a kibbutz died during the October 7 attack and their bodies were taken to Gaza.

Also read

  • Nearly 450,000 Palestinians have fled Rafah, threatened by a major offensive
  • Fierce fighting between Israel and Hamas in Rafah
Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116