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Intense fighting in Rafah is about to end, Netanyahu said

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the “intense phase” of fighting in Rafah in southern Gaza was coming to an end, but this did not mean the war was about to end.

He said the war will continue until Hamas is completely driven from power.

He added that the Israeli army will soon be able to redeploy troops to the border with Lebanon, where firefights with Hezbollah are escalating.

Netanyahu also again rejected the idea that the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority should run Gaza instead of Hamas.

“Ultimately, you will have to do two things: you will need the Israel Defense Forces to continue to demilitarize and you will need to establish a civilian administration, I hope that with support and management of a number of countries in the region, I think this is the right path forward,” he said in an interview on Israeli television.

“I will tell you what I am not ready to do, I am not ready to establish a Palestinian state there, I am not ready to hand it over to the Palestinian Authority. I’m not ready to do that. ”

Rafah residents reported more clashes in the city, while Israeli air strikes on Gaza City reportedly killed the emergency services director of the Hamas-run Health Ministry.

An aid distribution center was also attacked: the IDF said it was being used by Hamas.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant is starting a visit to Washington to discuss the war in Gaza and escalating tensions with Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran.

The Israeli military launched a campaign to destroy Hamas in response to the Palestinian armed group’s unprecedented attack on southern Israel on October 7, in which about 1,200 people – mostly civilians – were killed and Another 251 people were held hostage.

According to the Hamas-run Health Ministry, more than 37,551 people have been killed in Gaza since then. The agency’s figures do not distinguish between civilians and combatants, but reportedly identified 14,680 children, women and the elderly among those killed as of the end of April.


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