Gaza War: Israeli Forces Enter Rafah, Hamas Agrees To Ceasefire Terms | Key Points

Israeli forces have launched a ground offensive in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, ignoring international calls for a ceasefire and despite Hamas's announcement that it has accepted a truce proposal. Here are the key points.

Israel Gaza War | Photo: AP

The Israeli military has taken control of the strategic Rafah crossing with Egypt, amid intense airstrikes and ground fighting in the southern Gaza Strip. The move comes despite international outcry for a ceasefire and warnings of a humanitarian crisis.

Palestinian militant group in Gaza, Hamas, has agreed to a ceasefire proposal, but Israel has rejected the terms and pressed ahead with its military operation. 

The war, now in its eighth month, has already seen at least 34,789 Palestinians  killed and 78,204 wounded in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7. The death toll in Israel from Hamas’s October 7 attacks stands at 1,139, with dozens of people still held captive.

The United Nations and aid agencies have warned of devastating consequences if the assault on Rafah continues.


  • Israel Launches Airstrikes On Rafah

Israel conducted airstrikes on the southern Palestinian city of Rafah on Monday, which is currently home to approximately 1.4 million people who have been displaced due to Israel's war on Gaza. This move came a day after Israel ordered at least 100,000 Palestinians to evacuate the eastern part of the city, leading to scenes of families fleeing to areas heavily damaged by nearly eight months of fighting.

  • Hamas Agrees To Ceasefire Proposal, Israel Rejects

Hamas announced that it had agreed to a Gaza ceasefire proposal from mediators. However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office stated that the truce proposal fell short of Israel's demands, and the war cabinet approved continuing the operation in Rafah.

  • Ceasefire Negotiations To Continue 

Despite Israel's rejection of the ceasefire proposal, Netanyahu's office stated that Israel would still send a delegation to meet with negotiators to try to reach an agreement. Qatar's foreign ministry announced that its delegation would head to Cairo on Tuesday to continue negotiations.

  • Proposed Ceasefire Deal Includes Three Stages

The proposed ceasefire agreement, put forward by Egypt and Qatar, included three stages: an initial halt in fighting, leading to lasting calm and the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Palestinian territory. The deal would also ensure the release of Israeli captives in Gaza and an unspecified number of Palestinians held in Israeli jails.

  • About Rafah Crossing

The Rafah border crossing, located on the Egypt-Gaza border, is the only crossing point with Gaza not controlled by Israel. Under a 2007 agreement with Israel, Egypt has maintained control over the crossing, but all supplies entering Gaza through Rafah require Israeli approval.

Since Israel closed its border crossings with Gaza on October 7, Rafah has emerged as a critical lifeline for aid to reach the two million residents of Gaza. 

World Condemns Israeli Assault On Rafah 

-United Nations: "I am deeply concerned by indications that a large-scale military operation in Rafah may be imminent. Protection of civilians is paramount in international humanitarian law" - UN Secretary General António Guterres

-Jordan: "Another massacre of the Palestinians is in the making. Failure to prevent the massacre will be an indelible stain on the international community. Too many massacres have been allowed. Enough." - Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi

-Saudi Arabia: - "The Ministry affirms the Kingdom's categorical rejection of the occupation forces' continued blatant violations of all international resolutions calling for the cessation of these massacres and their violation of international law and international humanitarian law without deterrence, which exacerbates the humanitarian crisis and limits international peace efforts." - Saudi Foreign Ministry

-European Union: "Israel's evacuation orders to civilians in Rafah portend the worst: more war and famine. It is unacceptable. Israel must renounce a ground offensive and implement UNSCR 2728. The EU, with the international community, can and must act to prevent such a scenario." - EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell

-United States: "We can't speak for Israeli military operations. We have made our views clear on a major ground invasion of Rafah to the Israeli government, and the President will speak with the Prime Minister today. We continue to believe that a hostage deal is the best way to preserve the lives of the hostages and avoid an invasion of Rafah, where more than a million people are sheltering. Those talks are ongoing now." - White House National Security Council spokesperson