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Israel to storm Rafah in Ramadan

by Zahid Jadwat
Displaced Palestinians camp near the border fence between Gaza and Egypt, on 16 February 2024 in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip. [Picture: Mohammed Abed / AFP]


There will be a massacre in Rafah at the start of Ramadan. That is if the Occupation Forces go ahead with plans to storm the city next month, where more than one million Palestinians are seeking refuge.

So-called ‘war cabinet’ member Benny Gantz declared a military offensive will be launched in the southern Gaza city should captives held by Hamas not be returned by 10 March. The date coincides with the start of the month-long period of fasting, Ramadan.

“The world must know, and Hamas leaders must know — if by Ramadan our hostages are not home, the fighting will continue everywhere, to include the Rafah area,” he said.

Gantz, the former IDF chief of staff and ‘defence’ minister, was addressing the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in Jerusalem on Sunday.


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His remarks come amidst growing opposition to the looming assault and while the concentration camp of Gaza buckles under constant bombardment.

United States president Joe Biden earlier cautioned an invasion “should not proceed without a credible and executable plan for ensuring the safety of and support” of the city’s inhabitants, while Saudi Arabia warned of “very serious repercussions” should the terrorist regime press ahead.

The United Kingdom’s foreign secretary, David Cameron, last week urged Israel to “stop and think” before pushing on. “We think it is impossible to see how you can fight a war amongst these people. There’s nowhere for them to go,” he said, referring to the city’s civilian population.

“We are calling on all parties that understand the gravity of the situation to act immediately in order to stop these crazy plans,” Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said on Thursday.

In another development, PM Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly decided to limit entry to Al Aqsa Mosque for Palestinian citizens of Israel during Ramadan. This was despite a warning from the Shin Bet security service that the move could incite unrest.

Although Israel has no legal sovereignty over Islam’s third-holiest site, it continues to incite tension in the Palestinian capital by harassing worshippers and routinely storming the mosque during Ramadan.

The ongoing bombardment of Gaza and raids in the Occupied West Bank have claimed nearly 30 000 lives. No fewer than 127 were killed by Israeli strikes on Gaza in the past 24 hours alone, reported Al Jazeera.

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