Abroad Israel’s Prime Minister
Netanyahu orders preparations for Rafah evacuation
As of: 4:10 p.m. | Reading time: 2 minutes
New hostage agreement? – “The mood in Israel is very ambivalent”
In Israel, people demonstrated again both for and against a hostage agreement with Hamas. At the same time, the Israeli war cabinet met to discuss a possible deal with Hamas. Israel correspondent Max Hermes summarizes the mood in the country on WELT TV.
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A comprehensive military operation is necessary in Rafah in the Gaza Strip, says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Therefore, he expects a plan to evacuate civilians from the city.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he has ordered the military to develop a plan to evacuate the population of Rafah in the Gaza Strip. Netanyahu said on Friday that a full-scale military operation was needed in Rafah. He called on security officials to present a plan that would involve the evacuation of civilians from the city and a military operation to destroy the remaining Hamas militant units.
Israel says Rafah is the last remaining stronghold of the militant Islamist Hamas. It must send troops to complete its war aims. However, fleeing fighting elsewhere in the Gaza Strip, an estimated 1.5 million Palestinians have flocked to the city on the border with Egypt. There had previously been international criticism of Israel’s plan to move into the densely populated city.
22 people killed in air strikes in Gaza Strip
Israeli air strikes are said to have killed at least 22 people in the Gaza Strip on Friday night. Eyewitnesses and hospital officials said children were among those killed in the center of the isolated coastal area and in the southern town of Rafah.
The attacks reportedly hit a residential building in Rafah and a kindergarten in the city of Suwayda that had been converted into a shelter for displaced people. Eight people were killed in Rafah and five in Suwaida. The dead and wounded were taken to nearby hospitals, where AP news agency journalists saw the bodies. Nine people were killed in an attack in Deir al-Balah.
More than half of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents fled to Rafah, following an Israeli military order to evacuate ahead of the expansion of the ground offensive. Evacuation orders now apply to two-thirds of the area. Israeli ground forces are still concentrated in the town of Khan Yunis, north of Rafah. However, Netanyahu warned this week that Rafah was the next target of the operations, sending hundreds of thousands of displaced people into panic.
Contact with Hamas boss Sinwar is said to have been lost “for weeks”.
According to an Israeli media report, high-ranking Hamas members have had no contact with the Hamas leader in Gaza for several weeks. According to the “Kan” broadcaster, Sinwar was also not involved in the Hamas response for a hostage agreement that was recently sent to Israel.
Which: WELT TV / Max Hermes