Israeli War Cabinet Minister Gantz: If No Agreement on Hostage Release, Israel Will Move into Rafah over Ramadan

(Times of Israel) Sam Sokol - Israeli War Cabinet minister Benny Gantz said Wednesday that if there is no agreement on a hostage release, Israel will move into the southern Gaza city of Rafah over Ramadan. "On the battlefield, we are facing an operation in Rafah, which will begin after the population is evacuated from the area," he said, arguing that clearing out the last remaining Hamas forces there was critical for the demilitarization of Gaza. Since November's temporary ceasefire, "we have not stopped fighting for even one day - and we will not stop even for a minute without our hostages being returned." Gantz said, "In any future situation, Israel will maintain its supremacy and its operational capabilities in the entire Gaza Strip," insisting that Israel "will not allow murderers to return to control places where the IDF has operated." Regarding the "unilateral" creation of a Palestinian state, Gantz said that after Oct. 7, "it would be a mistake to give such a tailwind to terrorism." He argued that political arrangements that do not stem from direct talks "will not be sustainable." "Our goal and the goal of the donor countries is the same: aid to the residents and not to the terrorists....We are working to strengthen the moderate axis vis-a-vis Iran, and establish a regional administration that will help the Palestinians build another government in Gaza."

2024-02-23 00:00:00

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