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Netanyahu insists on attacking Rafah despite American criticism

Netanyahu insists on attacking Rafah despite American criticism

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to resist pressure from the United States and is sticking to a ground offensive in the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, currently crowded with refugees.

In his phone call with US President Joe Biden, he “made it clear to him” that Israel is determined to destroy the last brigades of the Islamic Hamas movement in Rafah.

The Times of Israel quoted Netanyahu as saying before the Israeli Parliament’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee yesterday: “There is no other way but to intervene on the ground.” Netanyahu said in a statement that preparations are underway. However, this “will take some time.”

In a conversation with Biden the day before, he agreed to his request to send a delegation to Washington in the coming days. According to media reports, the United States wants to offer alternatives to a ground attack there.

Alternative suggestions from the USA

“We don't just say, 'No, you can't do that.' The Times of Israel quoted a senior US official as saying earlier today: “We say we are ready to work with them on viable alternatives that still help them achieve their goals.”

One approach could be for Israel to focus on preventing weapons smuggling from Egypt to Gaza via the Philadelphia Corridor rather than launching a ground offensive.

The Axios news portal had previously published a report on this option, which Washington is considering, citing American officials. The news portal reported that another idea is to postpone the military operation in Rafah and focus on stabilizing the humanitarian situation in the north of the closed coastal area. According to the United Nations, there is a risk of famine there.

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