In response to recent developments on the Gaza border, Prime Minister Netanyahu has instructed the Israeli armed forces to prepare a plan for a possible attack on Rafah, a Gaza border town. The plan includes destroying four Hamas battalions in the city and evacuating civilians from the Rafah area. The attack is scheduled to take place by March 10, before the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan begins.
However, one of the biggest challenges facing Israel is reaching an agreement with Egypt regarding the fate of the tunnels running between Egypt and Gaza. Hamas is believed to have used these tunnels to smuggle weapons and other supplies into Gaza. Israel’s declarations of intent to attack Rafah may increase pressure on Hamas leaders to show more flexibility in negotiations between the two sides.
According to Haaretz, which relied on insider sources, Israel has not yet decided on a date for the attack. However, Hamas has warned that such an attack could claim tens of thousands of victims and prompted international actors to express their concern about its effects. The Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry reported that more than 28,000 people had already been killed by Israeli airstrikes and attacks by Saturday in response to the October attack by Hamas.
The situation remains volatile as tensions continue to escalate between Israel and Palestine, with no end in sight.