Middle east

Israel Prepared to Launch Full-Scale Incursion in Rafah in Coming Days – Reports

Smoke billows after Israeli bombardment in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip on May 6, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The administration of US President Joe Biden has assessed that Israel has enough troops in the Gazan city of Rafah to proceed with a full-scale ground operation in the coming days, CNN has reported, citing senior officials. At the same time, it is still unclear for senior US officials whether the Jewish state decides to move forward with a full-scale offensive, which they think would be a gesture of defiance against Biden, who had warned the Israeli leadership against such an operation, CNN reported in an article on Monday. The Biden administration is also alarmed that Israel has not made any preparations for post-war governance of the enclave as it goes on achieving its goals on the battlefield, according to the report. Last Monday, the IDF launched what it called a counterterrorist operation in the east of Rafah, on the border with Egypt, and took control of the Gaza side of the border crossing. On Friday, Israeli media reported that Israel’s military cabinet had approved expanding the ground operation. Israeli authorities say the operation is aimed at eliminating the remaining battalions of Palestinian movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip. WorldIsrael Opens Western Erez Border Crossing in Northern Gaza to Allow Humanitarian Aid – IDFYesterday, 04:59 GMTOn October 7, 2023, Hamas launched a large-scale rocket attack against Israel and breached the border, attacking both civilian neighborhoods and military bases. Nearly 1,200 people in Israel were killed and some 240 others abducted during the attack. 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 35,000 people have been killed so far by Israeli strikes in the Gaza Strip, local authorities said. More than 100 hostages are still believed to be held by Hamas in Gaza.

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