He has made his intent clear about what he wants to achieve out of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza: total victory against Hamas. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also ordered his troops to prepare for a ground offensive in Rafah, which is in southern Gaza, home to a population of over one million war-displaced people.
Evacuating Civilians From Rafah
Evacuating civilians is part of the plan but where do such a large number of refugees go, Netanyahu was asked on ABC News ‘This Week’.
The prime minister had his answer ready. “The areas that we’ve cleared, north of Rafah, plenty of areas there, but we are working out a detailed plan to do so. And that’s what we’ve done up to now. We’re not—we’re not cavalier about this. This is part of our war effort, to get civilians out of harm’s way. Those who say that under no circumstances should we enter Rafah are basically saying, lose the war. Keep Hamas there.”
Offensive In Gaza ‘Over The Top’
The US isn’t too happy with the Israeli offensive in Gaza, which President Biden has called “over the top”.
Over 28,000 people have been killed in Gaza in the Israeli onslaught, says Gaza’s health ministry but Netanyahu “would be cautious” with that statistic.
Any civilian casualty is a tragedy, a tragedy forced upon us by Hamas, he said, adding that “we’ve brought down the civilian-to-terrorist casualties, the ratio, down below 1-1, which is considerably less than in any other theatre of similar warfare”.
Two State Theory?
In a televised address to the nation, Netanyahu has said after the Israel-Hamas war, Israel will have a role in Gaza. Asked by ABC News about a two state theory, which many see as a solution to the Israel-Palestine crisis, Netanyahu shot back: “Everybody who talks about a two-state solution—well, I ask, what do you mean by that? Should the Palestinians have an army? Can they sign a military pact with Iran? Can they import rockets from North Korea?… Of course, not. And the substance of all we said in a future peace agreement, which everybody agrees is far off, I think the Palestinians should have the powers to govern themselves, but none of the power should threaten Israel. And the most important power that has to remain in Israel’s hands is overriding security control in the area west of the Jordan. That includes Gaza.”