Updated February 11th, 2024 at 22:14 IST
Netanyahu Says IDF Destroyed Three-Quarters of Hamas, Rafah 'Last Remaining Bastion'
"We have already destroyed three-quarters of Hamas' organized terrorist battalions," Netanyahu said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that the victory was “within reach” as his troops have destroyed three-quarter of Hamas, and prepared battle in the last bastion of Rafah to root out the Palestinian terror group. During an appearance on "Fox News Sunday" Netanyahu said that the Israeli forces have defeated Hamas, and are preparing to enter the final stronghold in Gaza. Netanyahu argued that the IDF must continue to deliver the final blow to Hamas in the last stronghold.
"Victory is within reach," Netanyahu said. "We have already destroyed three-quarters of Hamas' organized terrorist battalions. Three-quarters, 18 out of 24 – we're not going to leave the other six. That would be like you leaving a quarter of ISIS in Iraq in place and you say, 'Well they can have their little territory. It's OK.’”
Israeli forces will take care of the security in Gaza for an extended period post war, Netanyahu said, a narrative that turned into a flashpoint with Biden administration. The latter has been pushing for a two-state solution, saying that occupying Gaza Strip after the war would be a “mistake.” Ex US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman told the outlet that the Palestinians "are not willing" to accept a Jewish state. "I do not think a two-state solution is possible, and, even if possible, it is not advisable. For more than 50 years, hundreds of self-proclaimed ‘peacemakers,’ led by the United States, have attempted to coerce Israel and the Palestinians into a two-state solution," he said. "The efforts repeatedly fail regardless of who’s in charge.”
Egypt warns against IDF's push into Rafah
Egypt on Sunday warned that should IDF push into Rafah it will scrap the Camp David Accords, a cornerstone of regional stability for nearly a half-century. Egypt's remarks came as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he is sending troops into Rafah as the battle was crucial to eliminate Hamas’ strongholds and will be integral to win the four-month-old war.
Not waging fight in Rafah would imply Israel losing the war as Hamas’ infrastructure will remain, Netanyahu warned. Israel and Egypt traded barbs as two close US allies, as aid groups warn that an offensive in Rafah would trigger the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza, forcing people to run for refuge into Egypt.
“An Israeli offensive on Rafah would lead to an unspeakable humanitarian catastrophe and grave tensions with Egypt,” European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
Published February 11th, 2024 at 22:14 IST