Netanyahu doubles down on Rafah, after Gallant, US critique

In Manama the Arab League met in order to express its opposition to not only the Rafah Operation but also to the war as a whole, and to call for an immediate cessation of fire and the complete withdrawal of Israeli troops.

Benjamin Netanyahu reaffirmed on Thursday the importance of a campaign of military force in Rafah. This comes a day after Defense Minister Yoav Galant criticized him for not having a plan for the day after and warned of the possible consequences.

Netanyahu, who visited Bnei Netzarim’s military base to visit soldiers, said that the battle for Rafah was crucial. He stressed the importance of IDF destroying Hamas’s four remaining battalions, which are located in Gaza, the terror group’s last stronghold.

It’s not just the battalions that are still there, but also their supply and escape routes. Netanyahu told the soldiers that this battle, in which they are a part, will determine many things about this campaign.

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Netanyahu has received criticism both domestically and internationally for his efforts to enter Rafah. White House Press Secretary Karine Pierre stated on Thursday that Biden’s administration was clear about its opposition to a “potential major military operation” and Rafah.

She noted that Israel assured White House its military activities in Rafah were limited and targeted.

She said that, while the US supported Israel in its stance that Hamas couldn’t remain in Gaza she seemed to support Gallant’s position in saying that the White House “understood the importance of having an explicit and concrete plan for what happens after the conflict in Gaza.”

Arab League condemns war in Manama

The Arab League met in Manama, Bahrain on Thursday, to express its opposition to not only the Rafah Operation, but also to the war, and to demand an immediate ceasefire, as well as the complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from the enclave. The Arab League stressed the importance of a two state solution to the conflict based on pre-1967 borders.

The statement also called for the “deployment of United Nations peacekeeping and international protection forces in the occupied Palestinian territories until the two state solution is implemented.”

Vedant patel, Deputy State Department Spokesperson for the US, said that the US has focused on ending the conflict. He said that the US has been focusing on discussions with Arab partners to play a constructive role when conditions permit in Gaza.

He said that additional security forces could “complement” Israeli military efforts on Gaza.