Israel-Palestine Escalation
Israel was hit by an unprecedented rocket attack from the Gaza Strip on October 7, with Hamas movement's troops infiltrating border areas. On October 8, the Israeli government announced that it had invoked Article 40 of the Basic Law, which means the country was officially in a state of war.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Confirms Plan for Israeli Operation in Rafah Already Approved

© AP Photo / Leo CorreaIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers his speech after a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Jerusalem, Sunday, March 17, 2024.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers his speech after a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Jerusalem, Sunday, March 17, 2024. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 21.03.2024
TEL AVIV (Sputnik) - Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu justified the potential ground offensive in the southern Gazan city of Rafah as "essential" for achieving the goals of Israel's war with Palestinian movement Hamas during a meeting with his Dutch counterpart, Mark Rutte.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday he had already approved the plan for the ground operation by the Israeli military in the city of Rafah in the Gaza Strip, adding that the plan to evacuate civilians from the combat zones would also be adopted soon.
"I want you to know that I have already approved the IDF's operational plan, and soon we will also approve the plan to evacuate the civilian population from the battle zones," Netanyahu said in a video address.
Israel always acts in accordance with its security interests, even if its allies, including the United States, do not agree with certain actions, the prime minister added.
"At the outset, I told the [US] President [Joe Biden]: It is impossible to defeat [Palestinian movement] Hamas without the IDF entering the Gaza Strip. In our latest conversation, I told him: It is impossible to complete the victory without the IDF entering Rafah in order to eliminate the remnants of Hamas's battalions," Netanyahu said.
Washington will provide its recommendations in humanitarian and other areas in relation to the Rafah operation, the prime minister also stated.
"As we are preparing to enter Rafah, and this will take a little time, we are continuing to operate with full force. We are continuing to operate in Khan Yunis, in the camps in the center, in eliminating and capturing senior Hamas officials," Netanyahu said.
Israel has been preparing to conduct a large-scale operation in Rafah, where, according to Israeli military data, several Hamas battalions remain. The United Nations and many countries, however, have warned Israel against the move, as more than 1 million displaced Palestinians are now in the area.
Last October, Palestinian movement Hamas launched a large-scale rocket attack against Israel from the Gaza Strip and breached the border, killing 1,200 people and abducting around 240 others. Israel launched retaliatory strikes, ordered a complete blockade of Gaza, and started a ground incursion into the Palestinian enclave with the declared goal of eliminating Hamas fighters and rescuing the hostages. Over 31,900 people have been killed so far in the Gaza Strip, local authorities said.