Updated May 1st, 2024 at 08:00 IST

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu Vows to Enter Rafah ‘With or Without a Deal’

"We will enter Rafah and we will eliminate Hamas’ battalions there - with a deal or without a deal," the Israeli PM said.

Reported by: Sagar Kar
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu. | Image:AP

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged to launch an incursion into the southern Gaza city of Rafah, regardless of whether a ceasefire deal is reached with Hamas. His announcement comes amid ongoing negotiations between Israel and Hamas aimed at securing a ceasefire agreement and freeing hostages held in Gaza.

In a meeting with families of hostages held by militants in Gaza, Netanyahu stated, “The idea that we will stop the war before achieving all of its goals is out of the question. We will enter Rafah and we will eliminate Hamas’ battalions there - with a deal or without a deal, to achieve total victory.”


Here is what you need to know

Rafah, identified by Israel as Hamas’ last major stronghold, has become a focal point in the conflict. Netanyahu has faced pressure from his nationalist governing partners to launch an offensive in the city, emphasizing the importance of achieving what he terms as "total victory" in the war.

The international community, including Israel's top ally, the United States, has expressed concerns over the fate of civilians in Rafah if Israel were to invade. However, Netanyahu’s government faces internal pressure from hard-line Cabinet members who demand action against Hamas in Rafah.


The situation remains tense as Netanyahu remains resolute in his determination to enter Rafah, underscoring the challenges and complexities of finding a resolution to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. It isn't clear how Netanyahu's statement will impact the ongoing ceasefire negotiations with Hamas. 


Published April 30th, 2024 at 16:49 IST