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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Monday night that a date has been set for the entry of Israeli forces into the southern Gaza city of Rafah, where at least four and possibly five Hamas battalions are holed up.


“Today I received a detailed report on the talks in Cairo,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video message released Monday evening.

“We are working constantly to attain our objectives, first and foremost the release of all of our hostages, and achieving total victory over Hamas.

“This victory requires entering Rafah, and eliminating the terrorist battalions there.

“This will happen. A date is set,” he said.

US Still Opposes Rafah Invasion
In response, the US State Department said in a statement Monday night, “The US was not informed of a date for the attack in Rafah.”

On Sunday, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said the Biden Administration still opposes a ground invasion of Rafah.

Kirby said US officials hoped to meet next week for delayed discussions with senior Israeli officials on plans by Israel for a ground invasion on Rafah in southern Gaza,” Reuters reported.

He said Washington did not see a Rafah invasion as imminent and Israel had assured US officials it would not proceed before taking part in talks on alternatives.

Rafah is Not Negotiable: Here’s Why
Entering Rafah is important for many reasons. It is believed that the Hamas leadership managed to reach the city, which sits on Gaza’s border with Egypt.

The terror organization managed to build tunnels beneath the border despite the efforts of the Egyptian military to block them. Through those tunnels it is very likely that Iran still manages to replenish arms and missiles for its proxies in the enclave, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organizations.

Those tunnels cannot be exposed and destroyed until Israeli forces enter the city to find them and search them.

It is also believed that many of the 133 Israeli hostages still held by Hamas and Islamic Jihad are in Rafah, being used as human shields — an insurance policy — in hopes of preventing Israeli forces from reaching the terror leaders and killing them.

The international community — and the United States — is working feverishly to prevent Israeli forces from entering the city to destroy the final battalions of the Hamas terror group.

The reason is not clear, although it may have something to do with the fact that the top international Hamas leaders, Khaled Meshaal and Ismail Haniyeh, are both living luxurious lifestyles in the Qatari capital of Doha — and Qatar is a firm ally of the United States and other countries.

Perhaps for that reason Washington is willing to ignore its “unbreakable bond” with the sole democracy in the Middle East and throw Israel under the bus.

Regardless, Netanyahu has made it clear that this time, at least, Israel is no longer willing to commit suicide on the altar of Western political expediency.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.