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Israel insists Rafah invasion is crucial to completely eliminate Hamas as IDF occupies city center
By Belle Carter // Jun 04, 2024

Members of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have stepped up their incursion into Rafah as their tanks reach the heart of the Palestine city along Gaza's border with Egypt.

The IDF said it located tunnels and weapons and killed Hamas militants overnight along Gaza's border with Egypt while the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) reported that one million Palestinians have already fled.

Despite worldwide opposition to Israel’s military operation, the country claimed that it is crucial to its goal of eliminating Hamas and freeing the hostages seized during the Oct. 7 attack.

Witnesses said the tanks were spotted near the Al-Awda Mosque, a landmark structure in central Rafah. There was no immediate comment from the IDF on the witness accounts, with the military saying it will issue a statement on the Rafah operation soon.

This advance came only two days after the United States claimed that Israeli leaders had agreed to scale back their Rafah offensive to allay "humanitarian concerns" aligned with Washington's ruling class.

"It's fair to say, I think, the Israelis have updated their plans," a White House official claimed at the time. "They've incorporated many of the concerns that we have expressed." He added that Israel's government agreed to limit the operation to targeted strikes against Hamas fighters, rather than carrying out large-scale attacks that could escalate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

However, on May 26, Israeli airstrikes were reported near Rafah, with Hamas health authorities reporting that at least 45 people were killed and dozens injured in the attack. The blaze in a camp housing also displaced civilians.

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IDF admitted it had targeted a Hamas compound and eliminated two commanders in the terror group's ranks. It is also investigating what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a "tragic mishap." But on May 28, it deployed the Bislamach Brigade, which joined the 162nd Division’s other brigades that have been operating in Rafah since early this month. (Related: Israeli airstrike on Gaza refugee camp in Rafah decapitates small child, kills dozens.)

According to the Times of Israel, the IDF has captured around 70 percent of the Philadelphi Corridor, which runs for a total of 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) along the Gaza-Egypt border. Egypt has been against Israel taking control of the Palestinian side of the route, saying it would violate agreements between Jerusalem and Cairo. Also, Israeli and Egyptian troops exchanged fire on Monday, leaving one Egyptian soldier dead.

"The situation is very dangerous," said one Rafah resident. "We did not sleep all night. There was random bombing from all directions, including artillery shelling and air bombardment as well as firing from aircraft."

"We saw everyone fleeing again. We too will go now and head to Al-Mawasi because we fear for our lives," she added, referring to a nearby coastal area Israel has declared a safe "humanitarian zone."

White House is NOT CONVINCED Israel "crossed U.S. red lines"

The administration of President Joe Biden does not believe that Israel's offensive in Rafah constitutes a "full-scale invasion" of the city. It said that the recent operations and attacks in Gaza's southern city do not constitute a major ground operation that crosses any U.S. red lines.

National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby told reporters that the U.S. was not turning a "blind eye" to the plight of Palestinian civilians because Netanyahu claimed that what happened was just a tragic mistake, referring to the airstrike and fire in an area crowded with refugee tents. For Kirby, nothing is worth worrying about when asked if there was anything the White House had seen from Sunday that would prompt a U.S. withdrawal of more military assistance.

"I believe that is what I've been saying here," he said. "We've also said we don't want to see a major ground operation in Rafah that would really make it hard for the Israelis to go after Hamas without causing extensive damage and potentially a large number of deaths. We have not seen that yet."

When the White House spokesman was asked whether the strike had violated the limits previously set by Biden, he said he had "no policy changes to speak to."

"We don't support, we won't support a major ground operation in Rafah," he answered. "The president said that should that occur, then it might make him have to make different decisions in terms of support. We haven't seen that happen at this point. We have not seen them smash into Rafah."

He claimed that the administration had not seen IDF go in with large units, large numbers of troops, in columns and formations in some sort of coordinated maneuver against multiple targets on the ground.

Biden said this month he would limit weapons supplies to Israel if it entered the "population centers" of Rafah, where hundreds of thousands of civilians are still believed to be sheltering.

IsraelCollapse.com has more updates on the genocidal operations of Israel in Palestinian cities.

Watch the video below that talks about the backlash received by Netanyahu's claim that the Rafah military operation was a "tragic mishap."

This video is from the NewsClips channel on Brighteon.com.

More related stories:

American doctors stranded in Gaza urge Biden administration to end support for Israeli genocide.

Non-stop resistance across Gaza as Israel massacres dozens.

Sources include:






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