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War between Israel and Hamas: IDF will launch an offensive on Rafah at the beginning of Ramadan if the hostages are not released

An ultimatum delivered by one of the most civilized ministers of the Israeli military cabinet. Centrist Benny Gantz, a member of Benjamin Netanyahu’s war cabinet, warned on Sunday that Israel would launch an offensive on the city of Rafah if Israeli hostages held in Gaza were not released by Ramadan.

“The world must know, and Hamas leaders must know: if there are no hostages at home by Ramadan, fighting will continue everywhere, including in the Rafah area,” the former Hamas chief told the Israeli army. “To those who say the price is too high, I say clearly: Hamas has a choice. They will be able to surrender, free the hostages, and Gazan civilians will thus be able to celebrate Ramadan,” he added in a speech to a conference of presidents of major American Jewish organizations gathered in Jerusalem.

Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, begins around March 10th. Benny Gantz confirmed that the offensive would be carried out in a coordinated manner and through dialogue with the Americans and Egyptians, “by facilitating the evacuation of civilians” to “as far as possible” minimize the number of casualties in their ranks. .

On Sunday, in a joint statement with Emmanuel Macron, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi reiterated his opposition to any attack on Rafah. On Saturday, Egypt’s foreign minister said the displacement of Palestinians remained unacceptable, but if it happened, Cairo would act “humanely.” “We do not intend to provide safe zones or facilities (to Palestinian citizens, editor’s note), but if this were the case, we would show the necessary humanity,” Sameh Shukri assured during a security conference in Munich.

Warning from Egypt

Despite calls from parts of the international community, frightened by the humanitarian situation in the Palestinian enclave and the colossal number of victims, the government of Benjamin Netanyahu is determined to launch an offensive on the city of Rafah, supported by the closed border of Egypt, where 1.4 million people are now crowded in very difficult conditions.

Egypt has repeatedly voiced alarm over the possibility that a devastating Israeli offensive into the Gaza Strip could push Palestinians towards the Sinai – which Cairo says would be completely unacceptable – echoing warnings from Arab states such as Jordan, which refuse to allow the Jewish state to evacuate Palestinian The issue is by parking residents in huge refugee camps far from their territory.

Rafah and the town of Khan Younes, a few kilometers away, and other areas of the Palestinian territory were the target of Israeli bombings that killed 127 people in 24 hours, the Hamas health ministry said on Sunday. The Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, the second largest hospital in the Gaza Strip, has been rendered inoperable, ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Kidra said. The Israeli military said in a statement that hundreds of militants were hiding inside, some posing as medical personnel. He published photographs of weapons he said were found, as well as medicines transported from Israel and intended for more than 100 hostages kidnapped in Israel. “The discovered packages of medicine were sealed and were not handed over to the hostages,” the military accused.

Hamas rejects Israel’s accusations, saying they are a pretext for destroying the health system. Al-Kidra said the hospital now has only four medical teams, or 25 people, trying to treat patients without electricity.

Source: Le Parisien

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