Netanyahu Has Date Selected To Attack Rafah

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Monday that a date has been set for the ground offensive against Rafah.

“Today I received a detailed report on the talks in Cairo, we are constantly working to achieve our goals, first and foremost the release of all our hostages and achieving a complete victory over Hamas,” Netanyahu said on X.

“This victory requires entry into Rafah and the elimination of the terrorist battalions there. It will happen, there is a date,” he added.

Last month, there was talk about beginning the offensive close to the end of Ramadan. Netanyahu, however, has not publicly disclosed the date.

According to VOA News, Israeli, Hamas and Qatari officials, along with U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Chief William Burns, met over the weekend in Cairo to discuss a possible ceasefire. Negotiations were described as “serious” by the White House, but Hamas once again rejected the agreement.

For the first time, the IDF has withdrawn some of its troops from southern Gaza. On Sunday, the IDF announced that the 98th division had “concluded its mission” and was leaving the area to “recuperate and prepare for future operations.”

According to Gaza’s health ministry, which is controlled by Hamas, around 33,207 Palestinians have been killed since the conflict started.

The announcement comes after several countries, including the U.S., have pleaded that Israel reconsider attacking the area, where one million people have sought shelter.

President Joe Biden has warned against the offensive and has demanded that Netanyahu allow humanitarian aid into the region.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters that Gaza had seen over 300 humanitarian aid trucks but more is needed as Palestinians face famine.

“We don’t support a major ground operation in Rafah,” said Kirby. “We also don’t see any sign that such a major ground operation is imminent, or that these troops [moved out of Khan Younis] are being repositioned for that kind of a ground operation.”

Rafah is the last refuge for Palestinians as they attempt to protect themselves.

While many still hope that the war will end soon, Israel said that it is unlikely. According to Israeli officials, it will continue its attack on Gaza until Hamas is no longer in control of the area or poses a threat to Israel.