Devastation in Gaza as Israel wages war on Hamas

Devastation in Gaza as Israel wages war on Hamas - International News - News

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Defies US Warning, Plans Military Offensive in Rafah Amidst Crisis and Ramadan

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday his intention to proceed with a military offensive in the Rafah region of Gaza, despite a stern warning from US President Joe Biden that such an action would constitute a “red line.” The planned military operation comes as the Islamic holy month of Ramadan begins and ceasefire negotiations stall.

Netanyahu’s announcement follows previous warnings from Israeli officials that if hostages held in Gaza are not returned home by Ramadan, an offensive into Rafah would be launched. Over 1.5 million displaced Palestinians have sought shelter in the area.

Netanyahu, in an interview with Politico and German media outlet Bild, stated that the military operation would not last more than two months but did not provide any specifics regarding the timeline. He also disputed Biden’s claim that he is “hurting more than helping” Israel by failing to limit civilian casualties in Gaza.

The Biden administration is not expecting an immediate expansion of Israeli military operations into Rafah, according to two US officials who spoke with News Finder. The United Nations aid chief has expressed concern that such a ground invasion could result in “a slaughter.”

Despite these warnings, Israeli war cabinet member Benny Gantz has previously warned of the possibility of a military operation into Rafah if a ceasefire and hostage release deal were not reached by Ramadan. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated his intention to send the military into Rafah, regardless of whether a deal is struck.

The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is “front of mind” this Ramadan, according to US President Joe Biden. In a statement marking the beginning of the Islamic holy month, he pledged that the United States would continue to lead international efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to Gaza and work towards establishing an immediate and sustained ceasefire for at least six weeks.

Negotiations between Hamas and Israel for a ceasefire in exchange for hostage releases have not yielded any significant progress, with no dates set for Hamas negotiators to return to Cairo for continued talks. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been criticized for his refusal to respond to Palestinian demands regarding Gaza’s basic needs, such as stopping the killing, withdrawal, providing relief, and the return of displaced people.

A satellite image from March 6 reveals that an Israeli military road splitting Gaza in two has reached the Mediterranean coast. The road, part of a security plan to control the territory for months and possibly years, now stretches from the Gaza-Israeli border area across the approximately 6.5-kilometer-wide (about 4-mile-wide) strip, dividing northern Gaza, including Gaza City, from the southern part of the enclave.

These developments come as tensions between Israel and Palestine continue to escalate, with both sides suffering significant civilian casualties and property damage. The international community has expressed concern over the situation and called for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.