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Israel To Invade Rafah ‘No Matter What US Says’: Top Official

Israel To Invade Rafah ‘No Matter What US Says’: Top Official

On Thursday Israel issued its most defiant response yet to Washington pressre that it abandon its plans for a ground invasion of Rafah, over fears of another mass civilian casualty humanitarian disaster, given the high number of refugees packed into the southern Gaza city.

A top Israeli official was quoted in Bloomberg as saying the military is going to invade Rafah and defeat Hamas “even if the entire world turns on Israel, including the United States.” Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer, issued the words in a podcast interview.

“We are going to go in and finish this job, and anybody who doesn’t understand that doesn’t understand that the existential nerve of the Jews was touched” by the Oct. 7 terror attack, he said.

Dermer pointed out the reality remains that the White House still has yet the definitively rule out any military operation in Rafah. Biden administration statements have demanded that civilians be safely evacuated first, but have been ambiguous on the question of a ground operation.

Dermer explained of what Biden officials have communicated thus far: “They said without a credible way of moving a mass of people out of Rafah and surging humanitarian assistance to them they don’t see how this can be done effectively.”

He continued: “And we are saying we agree with you that we have to move the people out, we agree we have to get humanitarian assistance to them, and we believe we can do it.”

Dermer emphasized that Israel will do what it takes to protect itself even if this brings significant harm to US-Israel relations: “Could you have a breach over Rafah?” he questioned. “You could. We hope we don’t.”

But Israel’s latest plan, featured in fresh Wall Street Journal reporting, is bound for failure

Israeli security officials are quietly developing a plan to distribute aid in the Gaza Strip that could eventually create a Palestinian-led governing authority there, Israeli and Arab officials said, causing a fierce backlash from Hamas and creating divisions in Israel’s war cabinet.

A top Israeli defense official has held talks with Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan to build regional support for an emerging effort to enlist Palestinian leaders and businessmen who have no links to Hamas—a U.S.-designated terrorist organization—in distributing aid, some of the officials said.

The plan is essentially to put anti-Hamas Palestinians in charge of the Strip, but naturally this would ensure a civil war type scenario in which the newly installed officials would immediately be targeted by Hamas insurgents. While Israel might benefit from such a ‘divide and rule’ plan, it’s highly unlikely there will be any Palestinians willing to play such a role in a ‘new authority’ over the Strip.

PM Netanyahu has greenlighted a Rafah operation, but officials have said it will take time to both put in place and execute.

Thu, 03/21/2024 – 14:05

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