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Israel-Hamas struggle: Rafah assault ‘on speedy horizon’, UN help chief says, as Netanyahu reaffirms want to launch offensive | World Information

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An Israeli floor offensive in Rafah is “on the speedy horizon”, the UN’s help chief has warned, as Benjamin Netanyahu reaffirmed that his forces “will enter” the southern Gaza metropolis.

Martin Griffiths stated in a press release on X on Tuesday the threatened assault would “spell much more trauma and loss of life” for these within the metropolis and “strike a disastrous blow” to the help companies attempting to assist them.

“Famine is taking maintain. The principles of struggle proceed to be flouted,” he stated, including {that a} floor operation within the metropolis, the place an estimated 1.5 million displaced Gaza Palestinians are sheltering, shall be “a tragedy past phrases”.

UN Secretary-Common Antonio Guterres appealed to states with affect over Israel “to do every little thing of their energy” to forestall an Israeli assault on Rafah.

Their feedback got here as Mr Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, reaffirmed his intention to order a long-promised assault on town, regardless of the response by Hamas to the most recent ceasefire proposals.

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Mr Netanyahu stated Israel would enter Rafah, which it says is Hamas’s final stronghold, no matter whether or not a truce-for-hostages deal is struck.

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In a press release from his workplace, he stated: “The concept we’ll cease the struggle earlier than attaining all of its targets is out of the query. We are going to enter Rafah and we’ll eradicate Hamas’s battalions there – with or with no deal, to attain the whole victory.”

His feedback seemed to be directed at his nationalist governing companions, who’ve pressured him to not settle for a deal that may stop an assault on town.

Mr Netanyahu appeared to reassure one in every of them, nationwide safety minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, whose workplace stated the chief promised him “Israel will enter Rafah, we’re not stopping the struggle and there will not be a reckless deal”.

The US has repeatedly stated it opposes the Rafah operation till Israel presents a reputable plan for evacuating and defending these within the metropolis.

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US secretary of state Antony Blinken, talking in Jordan earlier than flying to Israel, to assist advance the most recent spherical of ceasefire talks, urged Hamas to reply to Israel’s newest ceasefire plan, saying: “No extra delays. No extra excuses. The time to behave is now.”

Negotiations aimed toward releasing hostages, bringing reduction to civilians and averting an Israeli offensive into Rafah seem like gaining power.

Learn extra:
Hamas releases video of hostages
Aid charity to resume operations following killing of aid workers

The close to seven-month battle started when Hamas fighters killed round 1,200 individuals and took some 250 Israelis and foreigners hostage of their 7 October incursion into southern Israel.

It prompted Israel’s assault on Gaza, because it pledged to destroy Hamas and produce the hostages dwelling.

Greater than 34,000 Palestinians have been killed in the course of the Israel-Hamas war, in keeping with native well being officers, who say about two-thirds of the {dead} are girls and kids.

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