as Palestinians continue to flee Rafah, wants to “intensify” its operation

as Palestinians continue to flee Rafah, wants to “intensify” its operation
as Palestinians continue to flee Rafah, Israel wants to “intensify” its operation
>>>>
– / AFP - war: as Palestinians continue to flee Rafah, Israel wants to “escalate” its operation (Children watch the smoke generated by an Israeli strike in Rafah in the Strip on May 13, 2024)

– / AFP

Israel-Hamas war: as Palestinians continue to flee Rafah, Israel wants to “escalate” its operation (Children watch the smoke generated by an Israeli strike in Rafah in the Gaza Strip on May 13, 2024)

RAFAH – An exodus to avoid death. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians continue to flee Rafah as the Israeli Defense Minister announced this Thursday, May 16, that even more troops would participate in the ground fighting in the city.

The minister indicated in a press release that “additional troops will enter” in Rafah and that “(military) activity will intensify.” Yoav Gallant made the statement during a field visit to the area, according to this press release.

This is not going to ease the situation as the city is emptying of its inhabitants, frightened, exhausted, threatened with famine and displaced several times since the start of the war. They thus find themselves on the roads again in search of a new refuge, even if “it there is no safe place in Gaza”according to the UN.

Netanyahu determined to exterminate Hamas, who says “ here to last »

Worried about the civilian population, the States, like a large part of the international community, is opposed to such an offensive in this city located on the Egyptian border, where hundreds of thousands of displaced people are crowded together.

But Benjamin Netanyahu is determined to launch a major ground offensive in Rafah, on the southern edge of the small Palestinian territory, where according to him the last Hamas battalions are entrenched.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, for his part, said Wednesday that the Islamist movement, which took power in Gaza in 2007, was “here to last” and that it would decide with other Palestinian factions on governance in Gaza after the war with Israel.

Ismail Haniyeh added that the outcome of the ceasefire talks was uncertain because Israel “insists on occupying the Rafah crossing point and amplifying its aggression” in the Palestinian territory. He spoke in a televised speech, after more than seven months of war, on the day when the Palestinians commemorated the “Nakba” or the ” Disaster “in reference to their forced exodus during the creation of Israel in 1948.

A news “Nakba”

The European Union, for its part, urged Israel to “immediately cease” its operation in Rafah, under penalty of “putting a strain” its relationship with the EU.

The war in Gaza plunges the Palestinians into a new “Nakba”laments a Gazans who fled the fighting. “The Nakba that we are experiencing (…) is the worst of all. Much harder than that of 1948”deplores Mohammed al-Farra, 42, driven away with his family by the fighting and Israeli bombings of their house in Khan Younes (south).

During the “Nakba”around 760,000 Palestinian Arabs were driven into exile and took refuge in neighboring countries or what would become the West and Gaza Strip, according to the UN.

Fights “intense”

Benjamin Netanyahu, for his part, believes that “the humanitarian catastrophe” in Rafah was avoided by Israel, claiming that “nearly half a million people had evacuated the fighting zone” in this city where the Israeli army has been carrying out military operations since May 7. During an interview with the American channel CNBC, the Israeli Prime Minister recognized a “disagreement” with Washington on Rafah. “But we have to do what we have to do”did he declare.

AFP journalists and witnesses on Wednesday reported airstrikes, artillery bombardments and fighting overnight and into the morning in Rafah, Jabalia (north) and the Zeitoun neighborhood in the northern city. from Gaza.

Hamas reported clashes with Israeli forces in Jabalia. The Israeli army also reported fighting “intense” in this town, saying he killed there “a large number of terrorists”.

Fights also take place in “specific sectors” east of Rafah, where the army said it had carried out an operation against a training center for Hamas, considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States and the EU.

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