Title: Israeli PM Netanyahu Announces Potential Invasion of Gaza City Amid International Criticism
The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has recently unveiled plans for a potential invasion of the southern Gaza city of Rafah. This announcement comes amidst escalating international criticism of Israel’s ongoing military campaign. President Biden also expressed concern over Israel’s actions in Gaza, describing them as “over the top” and raising alarm over the civilian death toll.
Israel claims that Rafah is a stronghold for the militant group Hamas, and thus, argues that sending in troops is necessary to complete its war plan against the organization. However, an estimated 1.5 million Palestinians have sought refuge in Rafah after fleeing the ongoing fighting in other parts of Gaza.
In his response to the situation, Netanyahu has ordered a “massive operation” in Rafah. He has requested a “double plan” that involves the evacuation of civilians alongside a military operation against Hamas. However, U.S. officials have criticized Israel’s intended invasion, questioning the lack of evidence, serious planning, and potential disastrous consequences for the million people currently seeking shelter in Rafah.
Despite the criticism, Israel continues to carry out airstrikes in Rafah, targeting not only military infrastructure but also residential buildings and even a kindergarten-turned-shelter for displaced Palestinians. Aid agency officials have raised concerns, warning about the potential consequences of a Rafah offensive, including a surge in hunger and disease among the already vulnerable population.
Netanyahu’s plan has also raised eyebrows in Egypt, as the potential ground operation and mass displacement across the border would undermine the peace treaty between the two nations. Egypt has expressed its apprehension over these actions.
The ongoing Israeli military offensive has resulted in a significant number of Palestinian casualties and has left a trail of widespread destruction in Gaza. President Biden, meanwhile, is actively working towards a cease-fire and the release of hostages held by Hamas. However, Netanyahu has rejected Hamas’ demands for a hostage deal, further prolonging the conflict.
As tensions continue to rise, the international community remains concerned about the escalating violence and its devastating impact on the lives of Palestinians. Efforts are being made to de-escalate the situation and find a peaceful resolution that can bring relief to the affected populations in Gaza.
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