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Report: Israel expands its operations in Rafah

Report: Israel expands its operations in Rafah

The Israeli mini-cabinet today approved a “moderate expansion” of Israeli military operations in Rafah, according to a media report. At the same time, it instructed its negotiators to continue efforts to reach a hostage deal, the Axios news portal reported, citing unnamed sources.

According to insiders, this step does not cross the red line set by US President Joe Biden. According to a third person, this could be considered a border crossing given that US military aid has temporarily stopped.

Israeli forces continued their advance towards Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, despite international concerns. They controlled the main road that separates the eastern part from the western part. The ground forces effectively surrounded the eastern part of Rafah with their tanks. Nearby residents reported continued explosions and shooting in the east and northeast of the country.

Guterres warns of an attack

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urgently warned against launching an Israeli ground attack on Rafah. “Any major attack on the ground in Rafah would lead to an epic humanitarian catastrophe,” Guterres said during a visit to Nairobi. The Secretary-General of the United Nations said that the situation in the city was “on a knife's edge.”

Hamas sees the negotiations as a setback

On the other hand, the extremist Islamic movement Hamas accused Israel of returning efforts to end the fighting in the Gaza Strip to the beginning by making changes to the draft peace plan. The Palestinian organization announced that it would reconsider its strategy in peace negotiations with various Palestinian factions.