Israel Moving Forward With Rafah Ground Offensive

Israel Moving Forward With Rafah Ground Offensive

BY TYLER DURDEN

Summary: 

  • Hamas claims to accept ceasefire, hostage deal while Israel says ‘This isn’t what we agreed to’
  • Bombardment and air strikes on eastern Rafah
  • Over 50 targets hit as IDF prepares for ground operation
  • President Macron warns against ground op
  • Civilians warned to evacuate. Tens of thousands of flyers dropped
  • Biden phoned Netanyahu to urge against Rafah ground op without acceptable evacuation plan
  • Axios reported that for the first time the US has paused ammo shipments to Israel
  • Senior official: Israel will achieve all its war objectives
  • Palestinians on streets holding premature celebrations over Hamas accepting deal, but Israel rejects thus far
  • ‘Bibi is abandoning the hostages!’: Protesters in Jerusalem demand deal
  • Al-Quds Brigades fires rockets towards Israel
  • Israel says ground offensive necessary after four soldiers killed by rocket fire out of Rafah
  • European Union says offensive is “unacceptable”
  • Palestinian Authority alleges US not interested in achieving truce
  • Jordan says PM Netanyahu jeopardizing ceasefire by bombing Rafah

Update(1634ET)The ground operation in Rafah is moving forward, Israeli officials have confirmed. There was earlier premature talk of Hamas having accepted an Egyptian and Qatari proposed ‘deal’ – but Israel has not signed on, but has only said it will examine it.

According to an Israeli media update:

Israel’s war cabinet decides unanimously to push ahead with an operation in Rafah “in order to apply military pressure on Hamas, with the goal of making progress on freeing the hostages and the other war aims,” the Prime Minister’s Office says in a statement.

The statement says Hamas’s latest truce offer is “far from Israel’s essential demands.”

Nonetheless, Israel is going to send working-level teams to hold talks with the mediators in order “to exhaust the possibility of achieving an agreement on terms that are acceptable to Israel,” says the PMO.

Israel struck at least 50 targets in Rafah on Monday, which appears preparation to send in ground forces. There have meanwhile been some sporadic early reports that the ground op might have already begun. It is expected to focus on eastern Rafah.

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Update(1255ET)There are breaking reports from several Middle East outlets, including Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya that Hamas has accepted the ceasefire proposal of Egypt and Qatar.

BREAKING: Hamas says in a statement it has accepted the Egyptian-Qatari ceasefire proposal.

However, almost immediately on the heels of the above statement came this rejection:

Israeli army radio journalist: “Sources in Israel: Hamas actually approved a softened Egyptian proposal that is unacceptable to Israel.”

This was enough to elicit a rapid response in oil prices, with a sudden drop on the initial headline before quickly correcting upward…

According to a WSJ description of the “Egyptian proposal” in question:

Egypt offered a new proposal for a truce between Israel and Hamas in which some Israeli hostages would be released in exchange for Palestinian prisoners and a three-week cease-fire, in a bid to stave off an Israeli military offensive in the southern Gazan city of Rafah.

Israel, which helped create the proposal, according to Egyptian officials, would commit to entering longer-term discussions once Hamas releases a first group of 20 hostages over the truce period—a formulation designed to overcome the militant group’s reluctance to release any hostages without any prospect of ending the war.

So for now these fresh headlines seem somewhat of a nothingburger, and the situation remains unchanged:

AN ISRAELI SOURCE: WE DO NOT TAKE HAMAS’ RESPONSE SERIOUSLY, AND IT IS A “UNILATERAL RESPONSE” FROM IT, AND WHEN WE RECEIVE IT, WE WILL STUDY IT AND RESPOND TO IT

Israel says this is “a trick” and a ruse intended to cast Israel as the side refusing…

According to more emerging details…

Update(10:50ET)As of Saturday the Israel-Hamas ceasefire negotiations were widely reported to be very ‘close’ to reaching a truce deal to free up to 40 Israeli hostages, but with Israel’s military on Monday clearly preparing for an offensive on Rafah, the talks are collapsing. According to the latest via NewsSquawk:

Hamas sources report that they have decided to freeze ceasefire negotiations with Israel and postpone the return of their delegation to Cairo, via Faytuks citing al-Jadeed.

Both sides are already blaming the other for what are increasingly looking to be failed talks. IDF strikes against parts of Rafah have at the same time intensified. “Israel’s military carried out airstrikes in Rafah on Monday, residents said, hours after Israel told Palestinians to evacuate parts of the southern Gaza city where more than a million people uprooted by the war have been sheltering,” Reuters reports.

“Fears are growing of a full-blown assault in Rafah, long threatened by Israel, against holdouts of the Palestinian militant group Hamas as ceasefire talks in Cairo stall,” Reuters continues. “Hamas official Izzat al-Rashiq said in a statement that any Israeli operation in Rafah would put the truce talks in jeopardy.”

Israel’s military announced the Rafah offensive would proceed, and warned civilians to evacuate the eastern part of the city, in the wake of a Hamas rocket attack on the outskirts of Rafah which killed four Israeli troops. Sunday through Monday IDF airstrikes on the city killed at least 28, including 11 children, according to Gaza’s health ministry.

Some are accusing Hamas of sabotaging the deal with the deadly rocket attack, while others blame Netanyahu – alleging that negotiations were just a cover and stalling tactic ahead of a Rafah onslaught.

On Monday Biden held a phone call with PM Netanyahu, wherein the US president likely urged against a new offensive and to advance ceasefire talks forward. According to Al Jazeera:

The United States is still concerned that this may go ahead while there is the possibility of talks over a ceasefire. But in Washington there’s also the suggestion that perhaps the Israelis are pushing ahead with this plan to force Hamas to the negotiating table and agree to Israel’s terms.

The talks come amid a backdrop of what Netanyahu said in an address to the Israeli people at the weekend – that you “cannot trust the promises of gentiles [non-Jews]”. That has angered a lot of people in Washington, not least because of the support President Joe Biden has given Israel, and the support that he has given them militarily.

Axios previously reported that the US has begun withholding ammunition transfers from Israel, but this is likely minimal and merely symbolic at this point.

CONTINUE READING ORGINAL STORY BEFORE UPDATES

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RELATED

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(TLB) published this article by Tyler Durden as posted at ZeroHedge

Header featured image (edited) credit:

Emphasis added by (TLB)

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1 Comment on Israel Moving Forward With Rafah Ground Offensive

  1. The time has come for White Americans to dissolve all friendly relations with American Jews.

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