Netanyahu says Israel committed to victory despite allies’ pressure on Rafah invasion

Ceasefire-talks resume in Qatar on Sunday

Israel Rafah invasion A Palestinian stands at the site of an Israeli strike on a house, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip | Reuters

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday dismissed international pressure on ceasefire and vowed to resume the Rafah offensive. 

Speaking at a cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said Israel would push into Rafah and no international pressure would stop us from achieving all its war aims. 

"If we stop the war now before achieving all of its goals, the meaning is that Israel has lost the war and we will not allow this," Netanyahu told a meeting of his cabinet.

"We will operate in Rafah. This will take several weeks, and it will happen," he said. 

Israel's allies have urged Netanyahu not to attack Rafah, where more than a million displaced people from other parts of Gaza have sought shelter, without a plan to protect civilians. 

"Are your memories that short? Have you so quickly forgotten October 7, the most horrific massacre of Jews since the Holocaust? Are you so quick to deny Israel the right to defend itself against the Hamas monsters?" Netanyahu hit out at the pressure from allies. 

Though Netanyahu had stressed that Israel has a plan to evacuate civilians from Rafah, aid agencies and allies remain sceptical. 

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is set to meet Netanyahu on Sunday amid the Rafah invasion concerns. While speaking to the reporters in Jordan, Schloz said that "a large number of casualties in such an offensive" could destroy any hope for peace. 

Earlier, US President Joe Biden also warned Israel against expanding its invasion of the city. 

Meanwhile, Israel-Hamas ceasefire talks resumed on Sunday. A new ceasefire plan was proposed by Hamas last week including an exchange of Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners. Netanyahu had dismissed the proposal saying "unrealistic demands". 

Also, a convoy of 12 trucks arrived in the north on Saturday- six in Gaza City and six in Jabalia refugee camp. 

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