Fri. May 24th, 2024

‘We will fight them with our fingernails’ Netanyahu says, as thousands flee Eastern Rafah

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May23,2024
Key Points
  • Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said Israelis will fight with only their fingernails, if they must.
  • Ceasefire talks make some headway, but no deal, Egyptian security sources said.
  • Israeli officials said operation in Rafah to proceed as planned.
Israeli forces bombarded areas of Rafah, Palestinian residents said, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed if it assaults the southern Gaza city.

A senior Israeli official said the latest round of indirect negotiations in Cairo to halt hostilities in Gaza had ended and Israel would proceed with its operation in Rafah and other parts of the Gaza Strip as planned.

Why did the talks end with no deal?

Israel has submitted to mediators its reservations about a Hamas proposal for a hostage release deal, the official said.

“If we must, we shall fight with our fingernails,” Netanyahu said in a video statement. “But we have much more than our fingernails.”

In Gaza, Hamas and Islamic Jihad said their fighters fired anti-tank rockets and mortars at Israeli tanks massed on the eastern outskirts of the city.
Residents and medics in Rafah, the biggest urban area in Gaza not yet overrun by Israeli ground forces, said an Israeli attack near a mosque killed at least three people and wounded others in the eastern Brazil neighbourhood.
An Israeli air strike on two houses in the Sabra neighbourhood of Rafah killed at least 12 people including women and children.
Israel says Hamas militants are hiding in Rafah, where the population has been swelled by hundreds of thousands of Gazans seeking refuge from the bombardments that have , and it needs to eliminate them for its own security.

Israel to launch full operation in Rafah

In the United States, the White House repeated its hope that Israel would not launch a full operation in Rafah, saying it did not believe that would advance Israel’s aim of defeating Hamas.
Kirby said Hamas had been pressured significantly by Israel and there were better options to hunt down what remains of the group’s leadership than an operation with significant risk to civilians.
Israel’s assault on Gaza has killed nearly 35,000 Palestinians and wounded nearly 80,000, most of them civilians, according to the health ministry in Gaza.
Israel has bombarded Gaza since Hamas’ 7 October attack in which more than 1,100 people were killed and over 200 hostages taken, according to the Israeli government.

The 7 October attack was a significant escalation in the long-standing conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Palestinians continue to flee from Rafah due to Israel's ground operation

Following the Israeli army’s ground incursions into certain neighbourhoods east of Rafah, located in the southern Gaza Strip, Palestinians residing in the area continue to migrate. Source: Getty / Anadolu

The Israeli military has the munitions it requires for operations in Rafah and other planned operations, chief armed forces spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said.

Thousands flee after vital aid route cut off

In Cairo, delegations from Hamas, Israel, the US, Egypt and Qatar had been meeting since Tuesday.
The talks in Egypt’s capital made some headway but no deal was reached, according to two Egyptian security sources.
Hamas blamed Israel for the lack of agreement so far. Israel has said it is open to a truce but has rejected demands for an end to the war.
US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said Washington continued to engage with Israel on amendments to a ceasefire proposal, adding work to finalise the text of an agreement was “incredibly difficult”.

On Tuesday, Israeli tanks seized the Gaza side of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, cutting off a vital aid route and forcing 80,000 people to flee the city this week, according to the United Nations.

The closure of the Rafah crossing with Egypt has prevented the evacuation of the wounded and sick and the entry of medical supplies, food trucks and fuel needed to operate hospitals, the Gaza health ministry said on Thursday.
The only kidney dialysis centre in the Rafah area had stopped operating due to the shelling.
“There used to be medical aid coming in, and now there is no medical aid,” said Ali Abu Khurma, a Jordanian surgeon volunteering at Al Aqsa hospital in Deir al-Balah.

“The entire medical sector has collapsed.”

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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One thought on “‘We will fight them with our fingernails’ Netanyahu says, as thousands flee Eastern Rafah”
  1. Netanyahu’s statement about fighting with only our fingernails if necessary is both alarming and resolute. It’s a stark reminder of the intense situation in Eastern Rafah, where the conflict seems to be escalating rapidly.

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