Netanyahu Advances on Rafah Despite Global Pleas for Restraint

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remains steadfast in his decision to advance on Rafah in the Gaza Strip, despite international calls for restraint.

French President Emmanuel Macron has strongly advised Mr. Netanyahu against the operation, highlighting the severe human toll of Israel’s actions in Gaza as “intolerable.”

Nevertheless, Mr. Netanyahu has directed his military to gear up for a ground invasion.

Rafah, home to about 1.4 million Palestinians and already experiencing bombardment, is the target of what Mr. Netanyahu promises to be a “forceful” campaign. He aims to dismantle Hamas’s presence in the southern city, emphasizing the necessity of a comprehensive victory, which includes military action in Rafah once civilians have been evacuated from conflict zones.

President Macron reached out to Mr. Netanyahu, advocating for an immediate halt to Israeli military activities in Gaza, critiquing the potential for an unparalleled humanitarian crisis should an offensive in Rafah proceed.

The leaders of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand have jointly voiced their serious apprehensions about the disastrous implications of a military strike in Rafah, calling on Israel to reconsider such actions due to the anticipated dire consequences for Palestinian civilians.

During a visit to Israel, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock expressed concern for the inhabitants of Rafah, indicating that those with no escape cannot simply disappear.

Spain and Ireland are urging the European Union, of which they are members, to promptly assess Israel’s adherence to human rights commitments in Gaza, as outlined in agreements that link rights with trade conditions.

The Hamas-led health ministry in Gaza has reported a staggering toll of at least 28,576 fatalities, predominantly among women and children, as a consequence of Israel’s offensive in the region.