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Israel Finalizes Plans for Military Operation in Gaza’s Rafah City

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel has finalized plans for a forthcoming military operation in Gaza’s city of Rafah. The Israeli government has been indicating its intentions to launch this offensive in the southern city, which is home to over 1.5 million Palestinians, for several weeks.

Netanyahu emphasized that the planned offensive is deemed necessary to eliminate terrorist groups operating in the area.

World leaders have been urging Israel to reconsider its plans for weeks. In a joint statement on Tuesday, the leaders of Egypt, France, and Jordan cautioned Israel about the potential dangerous consequences of the offensive, emphasizing that it could lead to regional escalation.

On Monday, the Israeli leader said a date to begin the Rafah offensive had been agreed internally but provided no further details.

Mr Netanyahu’s comments came as talks between Hamas and Israel over a hostage-prisoner swap and ceasefire deal continued in Egypt.

He said: “Today I received a detailed report on the talks in Cairo, we are constantly working to achieve our goals, first and foremost the release of all our hostages and achieving a complete victory over Hamas.

“This victory requires entry into Rafah and the elimination of the terrorist battalions there. It will happen – there is a date.”

At the same time, Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant suggested that now was the right time for a deal over hostages, six months into the war with Hamas.

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