Israel has announced its intention to deploy ground troops to target Hamas militants in the southern city of Rafah, located on the border with Egypt.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant made the announcement during a news conference on Monday, signalling a decisive move in the military campaign against the Palestinian group.
“We are continuing this operation, and we will also reach the places where we have not yet fought in the central and southern strip, and especially the last centre of gravity left in Hamas hands—Rafah,” stated Gallant, underscoring Israel’s determination to confront Hamas directly on the ground.
The decision to send ground troops into Rafah comes amid intense international pressure for a ceasefire and efforts to secure the release of hostages held by Hamas.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is currently in the region for discussions with leaders, including Israeli and Palestinian officials, aiming to address the humanitarian crisis and negotiate a lasting peace agreement.
However, Egypt, which has been mediating between the conflicting parties, is privately urging Israel to reconsider its plans, citing concerns over the potential destabilization of its border region.
With over one million civilians seeking shelter in Rafah, any military incursion could exacerbate the already dire humanitarian situation and provoke further displacement.
Israeli officials have not disclosed specific details regarding the operation in Rafah, but Egyptian authorities claim that Israel has assured them of allowing civilians to evacuate the area before launching any offensive.
Nevertheless, the influx of displaced Gazans along the border with Egypt has led to overcrowded tent encampments and soaring prices for essential goods, exacerbating the plight of residents.
Despite the humanitarian concerns, Israeli officials argue that dismantling Hamas’s infrastructure in Rafah is crucial to preventing the group from rearming and perpetuating the conflict.
They maintain that ending the four-month-long war requires targeting Hamas’s weapon-smuggling networks, even if it entails significant tactical, political, and humanitarian challenges.
The decision to send ground troops into Rafah underscores the complexities of the ongoing conflict and the high stakes involved for all parties.
As tensions escalate and diplomatic efforts continue, the situation in Gaza remains volatile, with the spectre of further violence looming over the region.
This article war created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members