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IPFS News Link • Israel - Palestine

A Move on Rafah Might Be the Spark That Ignites a Bigger Explosion

• https://www.lewrockwell.com, Moon of Alabama

Report: Egypt warns Israel Rafah offensive may lead to suspension of peace treaty – Times of Israel, Feb 10 2024

Egypt and Saudi Arabia have added their voices to a rising tide of criticism of a planned Israeli ground offensive in the Gaza Strip's southern city of Rafah, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicated that such a campaign was forthcoming.

Netanyahu announced Friday that he had ordered the Israeli military to present the cabinet with a plan to both evacuate the city's civilian population — augmented by over one million refugees from the strip's north and center — and destroy Hamas's remaining battalions in the area.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Egyptian officials warned the decades-long peace treaty between Egypt and Israel could be suspended if Israel Defense Forces' troops enter Rafah, or if any of Rafah's refugees are forced southward into the Sinai Peninsula.

In addition, Saudi Arabia — which has already conditioned normalization with Israel on an end to hostilities and steps toward the establishment of a Palestinian state — issued a statement Saturday warning of "the extremely dangerous repercussions of storming and targeting the city of Rafah in the Gaza Strip," given the city being "the last refuge for hundreds of thousands of people."

Reuters reported that in an effort to forestall a massive influx of refugees, Egypt has over the past two weeks stationed some 40 tanks near its border with Gaza, after having reinforced the border wall since the beginning of hostilities, both structurally and with surveillance equipment.

On Friday, Israel's Channel 12 also reported that IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi was opposed to Netanyahu's plan for a swift Rafah campaign, saying that although the military is technically capable of such an operation, it would be unwise to undertake it without coordination with the Egyptians and plans for the city's massive refugee population.


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