Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / World / Middle East

Israel bent on Rafah plan despite criticism

Updated: 2024-04-10 09:13
Share - WeChat
United Nations staff members on Monday inspect the grounds of Al Shifa hospital, Gaza's largest hospital, which was reduced to ashes by a two-week Israeli raid. AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

GAZA/JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has escalated his pledge to invade the southern Gaza city of Rafah, which is filled with about 1.4 million Palestinians, most of whom are displaced from other parts of the Gaza Strip.

Israel will complete the elimination of Hamas' brigades, including in Rafah, and nothing will prevent this, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday.

"There is no force in the world that will stop us," Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu spoke as Israeli negotiators were in Cairo discussing international efforts to broker a cease-fire deal with Hamas.

Hamas said on Tuesday it was considering a new framework for a truce proposed during the latest round of negotiations in Cairo, as Palestinians returning to southern Gaza confronted the extent of destruction left after the withdrawal of Israeli troops.

Six months into the bloodiest Gaza conflict, Qatari, Egyptian and US mediators have proposed another temporary cease-fire, according to a Hamas source.

The three-part proposal would halt fighting for six weeks to facilitate an exchange of hostages held by Hamas for Palestinian prisoners in Israel.

Saying it "appreciates" the mediators' efforts, Hamas on Tuesday accused Israel of not responding to any of its demands during the talks.

The United States, Israel's closest ally, has said a ground operation into Rafah would be a mistake and has demanded to see a credible plan to protect civilians.

The leaders of France, Egypt and Jordan warned Israel on Monday against a threatened offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, urging an "immediate" cease-fire in its fighting against Hamas.

'Dangerous consequences'

"We warn against the dangerous consequences of an Israeli offensive on Rafah, where more than 1.5 million Palestinian civilians have sought refuge," they said in a joint editorial published in several newspapers.

The editorial was signed by France's President Emmanuel Macron, Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Jordan's King Abdullah II.

The three leaders urged that a UN Security Council resolution calling for an "immediate ceasefire … be fully implemented without further delay" and that all hostages held by Hamas be released, also in line with the council's demands.

They called for a "massive increase" in aid to be allowed in.

Turkiye said it would restrict exports of a wide range of products to Israel, including steel and jet fuel, until a cease-fire is declared in Gaza, the Turkish Trade Ministry said on Tuesday, in a significant measure against Israel after six months of conflict.

The Palestinian death toll from the conflict has crossed 33,200, Gaza's Health Ministry said. The ministry doesn't differentiate between civilians and combatants in its tally, but says women and children make up two-thirds of the dead.

The conflict began on Oct 7 when Hamas-led militants stormed into southern Israel, killing some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking around 250 people hostage.

On Monday, forensic experts from Gaza's Health Ministry were still removing bodies from the yard of Al Shifa hospital, where the main buildings were left as burned-out shattered husks. Workers lifted body parts out of the dirt and put them into plastic sacks.

It was not clear how many were recently dead and how many came from a mass grave that was dug in the hospital in November to bury casualties.


Most Viewed in 24 Hours
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349