Netanyahu: Israel will push on with war on Hamas in Rafah

Israel will continue its offensive against Hamas, including in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, despite mounting international pressure to stop, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday.

Netanyahu has vowed to destroy Hamas after its terrorists attacked southern Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 people and kidnapping 253. More than 30,000 people have been killed in Gaza during Israel’s subsequent offensive, Hamas health authorities estimate, drawing global criticism and condemnation.

“There is international pressure and it is increasing, but especially when international pressure increases, we must close ranks and stand together against the attempts to stop the war,” he said.

Attempts to blame Israel for October 7

Speaking at a graduation ceremony at a training school for Israeli army officers, Netanyahu also said Israel must resist a “calculated attempt” to blame Israel for Hamas’ crimes.

Palestinians burn tires during a protest against Hamas in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, on February 28, 2024 (credit: ABED RAHIM KHATIB/FLASH90)

He added that Israel would operate throughout Gaza, “including Rafah, Hamas’s last stronghold.”

“Anyone who tells us not to act in Rafah is saying we have to lose the war and that won’t happen,” Netanyahu said.

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