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Netanyahu Gives Green Light For Rafah Incursion

How Much More Dire Could Escalation Make the Situation in Gaza?

Netanyahu Gives Green Light For Rafah Incursion

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dismissed the most recent ceasefire and prisoner exchange suggestion from Hamas, giving the green light for an Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) operation in Rafah, a city in the southern part of Gaza, as reported by Israeli news outlets last Friday.

“The IDF is ready for this operation and the evacuation of civilians,” stated the Prime Minister’s office, according to a report by the Times of Israel.

Earlier that day, Hamas used social media to share that it had offered a plan for a prisoner exchange to mediators from Qatar and Egypt. Their hope was for a ceasefire that would see the Israeli Defence Forces leaving Gaza.

According to Reuters, which has seen the details of this proposal, the plan from the Palestinian militants included freeing Israeli civilians, such as women, children, the elderly, and the sick, in return for Israel releasing 700 to 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. Following this exchange, Hamas expressed willingness to discuss a date for a lasting ceasefire.

However, the proposal was not accepted by Israel, with accusations from the government that Hamas was asking for too much.

Prime Minister Netanyahu, on Thursday, reaffirmed Israel’s goal to “eliminate” Hamas.

The decision to move forward with an invasion of Rafah follows multiple cautions from the international community, including the United States and Egypt, advising against entering the densely populated Palestinian area, home to around 1.5 million people.

Following a sudden assault by Hamas militants on Israeli communities on October 7, which resulted in 1,100 deaths and 250 hostages, Israel has enforced a strict siege on Gaza. Recent figures from Palestinian health officials report at least 31,341 fatalities and 73,134 injuries due to Israeli airstrikes and ground activities in the region over the last six months.

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Written by Layla Hadid

Layla Hadid is a passionate freelance journalist hailing from Midrand, known for her insightful coverage and compelling storytelling. With a keen eye for uncovering the stories that matter, Layla has made a name for herself in the journalism landscape of South Africa. Her work spans a variety of topics, from local community issues to broader, socially impactful stories that resonate with a diverse audience. Layla's dedication to truth and transparency has earned her respect and admiration among peers and readers alike.

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