Netanyahu defies Biden on Rafah offensive — RT World News

The Israeli Prime Minister insisted that the operation to eliminate Hamas must go ahead, regardless of American opposition

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to cancel a major ground offensive against Hamas militants in the southern Gaza Strip, ignoring a US warning that the operation would kill more civilians and exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian Strip.

“We have a disagreement with the Americans about the necessity of entering Rafah.” Netanyahu told Israeli lawmakers on Tuesday, a day after US President Joe Biden urged him to cancel plans to storm Rafah. he added, He added: “We do not see a way to eliminate Hamas militarily without destroying these remaining brigades. We are determined to do so.”

The White House warned on Monday – after a 45-minute phone call between Biden and Netanyahu – that a major ground operation in Rafah “It would be a mistake.” US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters, summarizing the call: He added that this “will lead to the killing of more innocent civilians, exacerbate the already dire humanitarian crisis, deepen the chaos in Gaza and increase Israel's international isolation.”

Biden had previously insisted that Israel present a credible plan to prevent civilian casualties in Rafah before launching its attack, but with the increasing political ramifications for Palestinian victims, he took a tougher stance against Netanyahu. On Friday, the US President expressed his support for the Minority Leader in the US Senate, Chuck Schumer, after the representative gave a speech in which he said that Netanyahu… “He lost his way” It became an obstacle to peace in the region.

The war broke out when Hamas launched surprise raids on villages in southern Israel on October 7, killing more than 1,100 people and taking hundreds of hostages to Gaza. Since then, more than 31,000 people have been killed in the besieged Palestinian enclave, according to local authorities, and about 1.5 million starving Gazans have been crammed into Rafah after Israeli bombardments flattened their neighborhoods.

The IDF announced last week that displaced civilians would be transferred there “Human Islands” North of Rafah before the start of the ground attack. Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari said that the refugees would be provided with temporary shelter, food and water. Netanyahu approved the Rafah plan presented by the Israeli army on Friday.

However, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Washington had not yet witnessed “A clear and actionable plan” To protect civilians in Rafah. He warned on Tuesday that 100% of Gaza's population was suffering “Severe levels of acute food insecurity. “This is the first time an entire population has been classified in this way.”

Netanyahu claimed that Israeli forces destroyed 18 out of 24 Hamas battalions in Gaza, and four of the remaining units are concentrated in Rafah. He told Israeli lawmakers that he stressed to Biden the necessity of crushing these units. He added: “I made it clear to the president in our conversation that we are determined to complete the elimination of these brigades in Rafah. There is no way to do that except by entering the ground.”

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