Netanyahu Says Israel To Continue Offensive Against Hamas Despite International Pressure

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared on Thursday that Israel would persist with its offensive against Hamas, extending into the southern Gaza city of Rafah, despite increasing international calls to halt the military operations.

Netanyahu’s stance comes in response to the October 7 attack by Hamas fighters on southern Israel, resulting in 1,200 casualties and the abduction of 253 individuals, according to Israeli figures.

In retaliation, Israel launched an offensive that has led to more than 30,000 estimated deaths in Gaza, as reported by Palestinian health authorities, eliciting widespread global criticism.

Addressing the escalating international pressure, Netanyahu asserted, “There is international pressure, and it’s growing, but particularly when the international pressure rises, we must close ranks, we need to stand together against the attempts to stop the war.”

Rafah, located on the southernmost border with Egypt and estimated to house around 1.5 million people, has become a focal point of the conflict. Many residents sought refuge there after fleeing their homes in the face of Israel’s military campaign.

Speaking at a graduation ceremony for Israeli army officers, Netanyahu emphasized the need to counter a “calculated attempt” to blame Israel for alleged crimes committed by Hamas.

He underscored Israel’s commitment to operate throughout Gaza, including Rafah, which he referred to as the “last Hamas stronghold.”

In a resolute statement, Netanyahu declared, “Whoever tells us not to act in Rafah is telling us to lose the war, and that will not happen.”

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi