Egypt transmitted a message to the Hamas terror group that if doesn’t reach a hostage deal with Israel within two weeks, Israel will launch an extensive military operation in Rafah, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.
Although Egypt has repeatedly warned Israel in recent weeks that an IDF operation in Rafah will jeopardize the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty, the WSJ reported on Sunday that senior Egyptian officials informed their Israeli counterparts that they won’t oppose an operation in Rafah if Palestinian civilian casualties are avoided.
However, Egypt’s real concern is about an influx of Gazan refugees into their country and has dealt with this issue in the past two weeks by bolstering its border with Gaza, deploying about 40 tanks and armored personnel carriers to northeastern Sinai. Immediately after October 7th, Egypt also built a concrete border wall topped with barbed wire.
In an interview aired on Sunday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told ABC News that “those who say that we shouldn’t enter Rafah under any circumstances are basically saying lose the war – keep Hamas there.”
The last four remaining Hamas battalions are in the southern Gazan city of Rafah, embedded among over a million civilians who fled to the city from other parts of the Strip.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)