update deskIsrael at War

IDF will act in Rafah, Netanyahu again says

"We will do what is necessary to win and overcome our enemies, including in Rafah," said the premier.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a conference in Jerusalem, Feb. 18, 2024. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a conference in Jerusalem, Feb. 18, 2024. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.

The Israel Defense Forces will do whatever is necessary to win the war against the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip, including in Rafah, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again vowed on Thursday.

“There were, and there are, disagreements among us regarding actions in distant and near arenas,” Netanyahu said. “But at the end of the discussion, I made a decision—and the decision was made. We acted there and we will act in this case as well.

“We will do what is necessary to win and overcome our enemies, including in Rafah,” he added.

Netanyahu spoke at an Israel Defense Forces memorial ceremony ahead of meetings with the War Cabinet and Security Cabinet, which were set to meet later on Thursday to discuss the ongoing indirect negotiations with Hamas.

Jerusalem was still waiting on Thursday for a response to its latest hostage-for-ceasefire-and-terrorists proposal, which U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said features “very important compromises” by Israel.

Despite intense international opposition to a major offensive in Rafah, Israel has repeatedly stated that it is necessary to win the war to ensure that Hamas is not able to regroup and threaten Israel again.

Many of the 133 hostages still in the hands of Hamas more than 200 days after the Oct. 7 massacre are believed to be held in Rafah. IDF special forces rescued two captives from the city in February.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz, a member of the Security Cabinet, said Saturday that the offensive in Rafah would be suspended if a deal to free some of the hostages held in the coastal enclave is secured.

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