Netanyahu Sets Date for Gaza's Rafah Offensive

 NEWSLINE PAPER,- The planned Israeli offensive in the Gazan city of Rafah has been declared by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The southern city, which is home to more than 1.5 million Palestinians, has been the subject of weeks of hints from the government about a military action.
Netanyahu underlined the need of the forthcoming attack to destroy local terrorist organizations. Even while international leaders urged a rethink of the proposal, Netanyahu stuck to his guns.

Egypt's, France's, and Jordan's leaders warned Israel of the offensive's possible ramifications, including regional escalation.

In the meanwhile, negotiations in Egypt regarding a truce and hostage-prisoner swap between Israel and Hamas resumed. Netanyahu underlined the need of accomplishing their objectives, which include freeing the hostages and vanquishing Hamas.

With the continuous fighting with Hamas, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said that now might be the right moment to strike a deal over captives.

While Hamas representatives said that Israeli initiatives fell short of their expectations, they also pledged to look into them more.

Attending the Cairo negotiations, CIA Director William Burns underlined the mounting US push for a deal.

Main supporter of Israel, the United States, is against any attack on Rafah, a city where many displaced Gazans have made their home.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, French President Emmanuel Macron, and King Abdullah II of Jordan demanded in a joint statement that the Gaza conflict be ended and that more aid be provided to the area.

They also underlined the need of carrying out a recent UN Security Council resolution calling for an instant ceasefire and the release of every captive held by Hamas.

With Hamas's assault on southern Israeli border towns igniting a humanitarian catastrophe, Israel reported a sharp rise in assistance vehicles entering Gaza.

Thousands of Gazans, mostly civilians, are said to have died during Israel's operation, and the area is on the verge of starvation.

Though it denies impeding the flow of aid, Israel holds UN agencies responsible for their inability to provide help efficiently.
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