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Israel Military Ready To Take 'Last Hamas Bastion' Rafah, Govt Nod Awaited; US Says Find Other Means | Key Points

A spokesperson for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government said Israel was "moving ahead" with a ground operation, but gave no timeline, a Reuters report cited a defense official as saying.

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This image provided by Maxar Technologies, shows a rows of tents built near Rafah in Gaza on April 23, 2024 Photo: AP
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The Israel Defense Forces is just waiting for a government nod to launch an operation to take Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah, a senior Israeli defense official said on Wednesday, adding that all necessary preparations have been conducted.

Israel considers Rafah as the last Hamas bastion in the Gaza Strip and is readying to evacuate Palestinian civilians from there along with its plan to assault Hamas holdouts, as per an unnamed official cited in a Reuters news agency report. The report did not specify whether the source was connected to the IDF.

Top Updates On Israel-Hamas War

  • A spokesperson for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government said Israel was "moving ahead" with a ground operation, but gave no timeline, a Reuters report cited a defense official as saying. The defence official said Israel's Defence Ministry had bought 40,000 tents, each with the capacity for 10 to 12 people, to house Palestinians relocated from Rafah in advance of an assault.

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  • Israel has maintained that victory in the Gaza war, which was launched by Netanyahu after Hamas’s October 7 seige and kidnapping spree on October 7, is impossible without taking Rafah.

  • Egypt, which Rafah abuts, has "warned" Israel against pushing into the city. Egypt’s State Information Service said such a move “would lead to massive human massacres, losses [and] widespread destruction,” as per a report by The Times Of Israel. Rafah at present is home to a million Palestinians who fled Israeli offensive through the rest of Gaza. They say the prospect of fleeing yet again is terrifying.

  • US, Israel's closest ally, has called on the country look for an alternate way and set aside plans for an assault, saying Israel can combat Hamas fighters there by other means. "We could not support a Rafah ground operation without an appropriate, credible, executable humanitarian plan precisely because of the complications for delivery of assistance," Reuters quoted David Satterfield, US. special envoy for Middle East humanitarian issued, as saying on Tuesday.

ALSO READ | Israel Strikes Rafah: Palestinian Baby Born An Orphan After Israeli Strikes Kill Mother

  • "We continue discussions with Israel on what we believe are alternate ways of addressing a challenge which we recognise, which is Hamas military present in Rafah," he said.

  • Israel pulled back most of its ground troops from southern Gaza this month but continued air strikes and raids into areas its troops abandoned. US, Egypt and Qatar's efforts to broker an extended ceasefire in time to head off an assault on Rafah have so far yielded no significant results.

ALSO READ | Age Of Agitation: Student Protests Surge Across U.S. Universities Over Israel's War On Gaza

  • As per Gaza medical officials, than 34,000 people have been killed in Israel's military campaign, while thousands more bodies are feared buried under rubble.

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