Defying Biden, Netanyahu Vows to Capture Last Hamas Stronghold in Gaza

2024-03-14 12:00:29

Defying mounting pressure from President Joe Biden’s administration, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday vowed to move ahead with his plans to capture the last major Hamas stronghold of Rafah.

“While the IDF is preparing to continue fighting in Rafah, we are facing international pressure to prevent us from entering the area and completing the job,” Netanyahu told soldiers while visiting a military base in northern Israel. “As the prime minister of Israel, I will repel these pressures.”

Since Israeli ground troops entered Gaza in late October, they have reportedly destroyed close to 20 battalion-size terrorist formations of Hamas. With the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) controlling large parts of northern and central Gaza, Hamas’s top leadership has escaped to the southernmost stronghold of Rafah. They have also taken nearly a hundred or so surviving hostages, including elderly, women, and infants, with them — using them as bargaining chips and human shields.

The Israeli prime minister declared that his wartime government was determined to take Rafah, Hamas’s last stronghold and home to its remaining four terrorist battalions. “We will enter Rafah, and we complete our mission of eliminating Hamas to restore security for the people of Israel and bring complete victory to the country,” Netanyahu said.

The statement comes as the Biden White House is drawing new ‘red lines’ for future IDF operations against Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

The Jerusalem Post reported:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected international pressure to prevent the IDF from entering Rafah in a statement made while visiting IDF soldiers on Thursday.

Netanyahu visited the IDF Ofer base, meeting with commanders and soldiers from the 636th Field Intelligence Unit. There, he expressed his intentions to take the highly controversial military action.

“While the IDF is preparing to continue fighting in Rafah, we are facing international pressure to prevent us from entering the area and completing the job. As the prime minister of Israel, I will repel these pressures,” he said.

“We will enter Rafah, and we complete our mission of eliminating Hamas to restore security for the people of Israel and bring complete victory to the country,” Netanyahu continued. (…)

“We have been successfully fighting for five months already, and this is a record time in the history of Israel’s wars,” Netanyahu explained.

“I would like to thank you for your important part in this,” Netanyahu concluded in his remarks to the soldiers. Thank you very much.”

The Biden White House wants Israel to scale down the military operation, which began after Hamas murdered 1200 Israelis and took around 240 hostages during the October 7 massacre, Politico reported Wednesday. “Senior U.S. officials have told their Israeli counterparts the Biden administration would support Israel going after high-value Hamas targets in and underneath Rafah — as long as Israel avoids a large-scale invasion that could fracture the alliance,” the news website said.

President Biden wants Israel to limit its operations to isolated strikes on “high-value Hamas targets,” news reports suggest. The Times of Israel reported that “Washington would back ‘counterterrorism operations’ rather than full war offensive.”

Israeli airstrike eliminates Hamas commander in Rafah

Meanwhile, the IDF appears to be targeting Hamas’s leadership in Rafah, eliminating a senior commander of its operations unit based in Rafah.

An “IDF aircraft precisely targeted and eliminated a terrorist in Hamas’ Operations Unit in the area of Rafah, Muhammad Abu Hasna,” the Israeli military said in a statement on Wednesday. “Hasna was a combat support operative in Hamas’ military wing. He was also involved in taking control of humanitarian aid and distributing it to Hamas terrorists.”

The slain terrorist “coordinated the activities of various Hamas units, as well as communicated with and activated Hamas field operatives. Hasna was also responsible for an intelligence operations room which provides information on IDF positions for use in Hamas attacks,” the military revealed.

His elimination will disrupt the terrorist group’s fighting capabilities in Rafah. “His precise targeting significantly damages the operational capabilities of various Hamas units in Rafah,” the IDF statement conducted.

Hamas executes Gaza clan chief who ‘worked with Israel’

With the IDF tightening the noose around Hamas, the terrorist group is waging a deadly campaign against Gazans willing to cooperate with Israel to mitigate the suffering of civilians and create a post-war administration.

Hamas executed a clan leader and members of his family for the crime of ‘working with Israel,’ media reports say. “Hamas executed on Thursday the leader of the Doghmush clan in northern Gaza after reports alleged Israel contacted the clan leader in an attempt to get his family to oversee the distribution of aid in the Strip. The Doghmush clan holds influence and is well-armed, situated in northern Gaza where many of its members live,” the Israeli news website YNET reported.




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Defying Biden, Netanyahu Vows to Capture Last Hamas Stronghold in Gaza

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