Photo Credit: Prime Minister's Office (PMO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a video statement on Wednesday afternoon, reiterating that the IDF will indeed enter the southern Gaza border city of Rafah in order to eliminate the remaining Hamas terror army battalions hiding there among civilians.

“At the very beginning, we agreed that Hamas should be eliminated. But during the war, it’s no secret, we had differences of opinion about the best way to achieve this goal,” Netanyahu said.


“At the beginning of the journey, I told the president: Hamas cannot be defeated without the IDF entering the Gaza Strip.

“In our last conversation I told him: it is impossible to complete the victory without the IDF entering Rafah, and this in order to eliminate the rest of the Hamas battalions. We will do the same this time,” Netanyahu said.

“I want you to know that I have already approved the IDF’s operational plan, and soon we will also approve the plan to evacuate the civilian population from the battle zones.

“President Biden, whose support I appreciate, asked to present to us the proposals of his people both in the humanitarian field and on other issues,” Netanyahu noted, referencing next week’s visit to Washington DC by the Israeli delegation.

“As I said – there were times we agreed with our friends, and there were times we did not agree with them. In the end, we always did what was essential for our safety, and we will do so this time as well,” the prime minister emphasized.

“And while we are preparing to enter Rafah, which will take some time, we continue to operate with all our might.

“We continue to operate in Khan Younis, in the central camps, in the elimination and capture of senior Hamas officials as we did now in Shifa, in the elimination of many hundreds of terrorists.

“As I promised you time and time again – we are determined to achieve absolute victory, and we will achieve it.”

The statement was released in advance of the expected arrival in Israel on Friday of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who will first be visiting Saudi Arabia and Egypt before coming to the Jewish State.

In addition, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has accepted the invitation of his American counterpart, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, for talks next week at the Pentagon in Washington DC.

Gallant’s visit will be separate from that of Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer and National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi, who will go to the United States for discussions about the IDF plan for Rafah with Biden Administration officials.


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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.