Netanyahu stands firm on Rafah offensive despite U.S. tensions

Netanyahu stands firm on Rafah offensive despite U.S. tensions

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tells CNBC: We disagree with Biden on Rafah

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged that there were tensions with historic ally the United States over the military offensive in Rafah in the Gaza Strip, but insisted that the operation was necessary to protect Israeli security.

“Yes, we disagree about Gaza. More about Rafah. But we have to do what we have to do,” Netanyahu said in an interview with CNBC’s Sara Eisen on Wednesday. “And, you know, sometimes you have to… you just have to do what’s necessary to ensure your survival and your future. We cannot continue in the future by letting Hamas retake Gaza.”

The United States and other nations have expressed concern that Israel is deepening its offensive in Rafah, citing fears about the safety of Palestinian civilians caught in the crossfire of Israel’s war against the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Israel has repeatedly said its conflict is against Hamas and not against non-combatants. However, human rights and aid organizations have highlighted the impact of the military campaign and lack of resources on civilians stranded in the Gaza Strip enclave.

According to the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, over 1,200 people have been killed in Israel since October. More than 35,000 people have now been killed in the Gaza Strip, according to the latest official count by the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

“I hope we can agree with the United States, we talk to them, but ultimately we do what we have to do to protect the life of our nation,” Netanyahu said.

Earlier this week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stressed that Washington could not support a military incursion into Rafah without a “credible” plan to protect civilians.

“Without a credible plan to get them out of harm’s way and to support them, the president has been clear for some time that we cannot and do not want to support a major military operation in Rafah,” he said in an interview with NBC’s ” Meet the”. Press, according to a statement from the US State Department.

The EU’s chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, said on social media on Wednesday that the EU “urges Israel to immediately end its military operation in Rafah, as it is leading to more internal displacement, starvation and human suffering.” We condemn the attack Hamas in Kerem Shalom.”

Rafah crossing

Israel remains at odds with neighboring Egypt over opening the Rafah crossing to allow new humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip.

“We are not delaying the opening of Rafah,” Netanyahu said on Wednesday.

His comments came after Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said on social media on Tuesday that he had spoken to his British and German counterparts on Monday “about the need to persuade Egypt to reopen the Rafah border crossing,” stressing “The key to preventing a humanitarian crisis in Gaza is now in the hands of our Egyptian friends.”

Egypt has previously linked the ongoing closure of the Rafah border crossing to Israeli military operations nearby.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tells CNBC: I hope we can agree with the United States

Netanyahu said Wednesday that Israel seeks to destroy the four remaining Hamas battalions. Earlier this month, Israel began its offensive in Rafah, where 1.4 million displaced people have sought refuge, according to the United Nations. Israel has been waging a retaliatory campaign in the Gaza Strip since October after Hamas carried out a terrorist attack the same month.

The hostilities have heightened tensions in the Middle East as Israel trades blows with the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and long-time rival Iran. The conflict has also impacted global markets as maritime trade has been disrupted by attacks by Yemen’s Houthis and uncertainty continues over crude supplies from oil-rich areas of the Middle East.

It has dimmed the prospect of a possible normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, so desired by the US

Fate of the Gaza Strip

The ultimate fate of the Gaza Strip, which fell fully under Hamas rule in 2007, is also at stake. Netanyahu spoke out on Wednesday against the two-state solution supported by many international actors, which would create an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.

The Israeli prime minister stressed that any resulting Palestinian nation would be “immediately taken over by Hamas and Iran” and reiterated his case for an outcome in which Israel “retains responsibility for the overall security” of the Gaza enclave.

This would give Palestinian civilians the right to have “all the powers to govern themselves, none of the powers to threaten us,” Netanyahu said.

The Biden administration has previously expressed support for a “revitalized” remake of the Palestinian Authority, which has partial control of the West Bank.

“A revitalized Palestinian Authority is critical to achieving results for the Palestinian people in both the West Bank and Gaza and creating the conditions for stability throughout the region,” US Department spokesman Matthew Miller said on March 29 . March.

Source link

2024-05-15 15:26:17